Charline Labonte made 16 saves in her 50th international appearance for Canada as the women’s national team tuned up for the Four Nations Cup with a 8-1 exhibition victory over Finland on Sunday.
Marie-Philip Poulin, with two in the first period, Meaghan Mikkelson, Vicki Bendus, Jennifer Wakefield, Caroline Ouellette, Jayna Hefford and Haley Irwin each scored for the Canadians.
Susanna Tapani had the lone goal for the Finns. Goalie Meeri Raisanen faced 49 shots by the Canadians.
Canada is looking to reclaim the gold medal after losing to the United States in a shootout in last year’s finale at Nykoping, Sweden.
Dan Church, head coach for the Canadian squad, says to beat the U.S., his team must play a disciplined game.
“We need to play a hard, fast, physical game against them and we need to stay out the penalty box because they have a deadly power play,” said Church.
“Working on discipline and not taking lazy penalties is something we need to do all tournament long.”
Canada opens the tournament in Tikkurila, Finland with a rematch against the hosts.
The Canadians have won the event 12 times in its 16-year history, having never failed to reach the final.
The tournament will serve as an evaluation opportunity for Church and his staff going into the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship being held April 2-9 in Ottawa.