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The Globe and Mail

Canada tunes up for Four Nations women's tourney with win over Sweden

Hayley Wickenheiser scored twice to lead Canada to a 4-1 victory over Sweden in a tuneup game Monday ahead of the Four Nations women's hockey tournament.

The star forward from Shaunavon, Sask., scored a power-play goal late in the second period and added an insurance goal early in the third period.

Caroline Ouellette of Montreal opened the scoring less than four minutes into the game at Vallentuna Ishall Arena. Emma Eliasson tied it a few minutes later with a power-play goal on Charline Labonte of Boisbriand, Que.

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Jayna Hefford of Kingston, Ont., beat Swedish netminder Kim Martin late in the first period to restore Canada's lead.

Canada opens the annual Four Nations tournament Wednesday against Finland at the Stora Hallen Arena in Nykoping, Sweden. The medal games are set for Sunday.

Wickenheiser, Ouellette and Brianne Jenner of Oakville, Ont., shone as a forward line Monday, according to Canadian head coach Dan Church.

"They were a force to be reckoned with all game, created chances off the rush and in the zone and on the power play," Church said. "Wick played very, very well."

Martin finished with 47 saves. Labonte and Edmonton's Shannon Szabados split Canada's goaltending duties and faced a combined 17 shots.

"Not a lot of shots although Sweden had a lot more chances in the first period and got a power-play goal against Charlie," Church said.

Ouellette wasn't on Canada's original roster because of a lower-body injury, but she recovered in time for the tournament.

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She replaced forward Marie-Philip Poulin from Beauceville, Que. Poulin was named to the intial Four Nations roster, but was scratched because of an upper-body injury she suffered while playing for Boston University.

"Caro healed faster than what was anticipated," Church said. "She had a strong game, was one of our top players in the game and was an impact player pretty much every shift she played.

"It's fortunate we were able to add a player of her experience and talent for a young player like Poulin, which we would have loved to have had here as well."

Canada has won 12 gold and three silver medals since the tournament's inception in 1996.

Canada won its second straight gold last year by edging the United States 3-2 in overtime in St. John's, N.L.

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