Canada pounds Swiss in women’s hockey opener



WINTERTHUR, Switzerland — Cherie Piper had a hat trick and Tessa Bonhomme chipped in with a goal and three assists as Canada opened the IIHF world women’s hockey championship with a 12-0 victory over host Switzerland on Saturday.

Haley Irwin, Hayley Wickenheiser, Meaghan Mikkelson, Gillian Apps, Rebecca Johnston, Marie-Philip Poulin, Jennifer Wakefield and Jayna Hefford also scored and Meghan Agosta had three assists for the reigning Olympic champions, who outshot their Swiss counterpart 67-19 in front of a sold-out crowd at Deutweg Arena.

Piper opened the scoring midway through the first period and Irwin and Wickenheiser later added a pair of short-handed goals a minute and a half apart as Canada built a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

Canada then broke the game open in the second period with five goals on 31 shots, including tallies in a 10-second span from Poulin and Wakefield.

Charline Labonte earned the shutout for Canada, while Swiss netminders Florence Schelling and Sophie Anthamatten combined to make 55 saves.

The Canadians next face Kazakhstan in Group B action Monday before wrapping up preliminary-round play on Tuesday against Finland. The top three teams from the two groups advance to the medal round.

The U.S. is the two-time defending champion at the tournament. Canada, which has appeared in every gold-medal game since the first competition was held in 1990, last won the event in 2007.

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