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Olympics-Ice hockey-Firestarter Fillier sets Canada on hot streak – Metro US

Olympics-Ice hockey-Firestarter Fillier sets Canada on hot streak

Ice Hockey – Women’s Prelim. Round – Group A –
Ice Hockey – Women’s Prelim. Round – Group A – Canada v Finland

BEIJING (Reuters) – Youth kept pace with experience on Team Canada this week, as 21-year-old forward Sarah Fillier made her presence felt at the Olympic women’s ice hockey preliminary group round in Beijing.

The youngest woman to wear the maple leaf at the tournament is looking more like a veteran in her Olympic debut, putting the puck in the net four times in two games, including a pair in Canada’s 11-1 slaughter of Finland on Saturday.

“I’ve wanted to be here for the past four years,” said Fillier. “To be able to come out and just gel with my linemates right away and put some pucks in the back of the net is really special. It’s just really cool to be here.”

The Princeton Tiger scored Canada’s opening two goals in their 12-1 trouncing of Switzerland on Thursday and roared past Finland’s defences Saturday, scoring 61 seconds into the affair before landing a sublime backhanded goal in the second period.

The performances saw Fillier ascend to the top of the goal scoring standings along with compatriot and Pyeongchang competitor Laura Stacey, who scored twice on Saturday as well.

“(Thursday) she scored, you know, our first two goals and got us off to a hot start and I kind of joked with her in the locker room, like, ‘Hey want to go out and score another goal in the first shift?’ and she’s like, ‘Okay, first minute? Sure!’ kind of just joking and then we went out and did it,” said team mate Natalie Spooner, who recorded four assists on Saturday.

“Maybe I should keep challenging her to that every game.”

The medal favourites are fighting to recapture gold after the United States won gold in Pyeongchang, ending Canada’s reign of four straight Olympic titles.

Canada and the other four Group A teams – the top seeds in the event – are granted automatic entry to the quarter-finals per tournament rules along with the top three performers in Group B.

Canada next face the Russian Olympic Committee on Monday.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in Beijing; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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