Canadian national team sinks PWHPA all-stars with late comeback in Olympic tune-up

Emily Clark scored the late game-winner for the Canadian women's hockey team in a 3-2 win over the PWHPA all-stars Thursday.

Rematch set for Saturday in Calgary; Series against U.S. resumes later in month

Canada's Emily Clark, seen above in October, scored the winning goal as the national team defeated the PWHPA all-stars 3-2 in an exhibition on Thursday. (Chris Szagola/The Associated Press)

Emily Clark scored the late game-winner for the Canadian women's hockey team in a 3-2 win over the PWHPA all-stars Thursday.

Canada generated all its scoring in the third period. Clark sealed the victory with 52 seconds remaining.

Captain Marie-Philip Poulin had a goal and an assist and Rebecca Johnston also scored for Canada at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre. Ann-Renee Desbiens turned aside 22 of 24 shots for the win.

PWHPA goaltender Shea Tiley was a workhorse stopping 53 shots. Alexandra Labelle and Sarah Lefort scored for the all-stars.

The all-stars led 1-0 after two periods despite getting outshot 32-15. Labelle scored at 16:23 of the second period before Johnston countered at 6:04 of the third.

Poulin pushed Canada ahead at 17:30 of the third period, but Lefort drew the all-stars even just over a minute later.

The Canadian women's hockey team is centralized in Calgary to prepare for February's Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Three of the 29 players invited to Calgary were released last week, leaving 26 still trying out for a 23-player roster to be named later this month.

Defender and three-time Olympian Meaghan Mikkelson played her first game for Canada on Thursday after suffering a knee injury that required surgery in June.

The PWHPA rose from the Canadian Women's Hockey League that folded in 2019 after a dozen years.

The organization runs showcase tournaments and games to drum up support for a sustainable women's pro league that has the same competitive and financial support the male pros have.

The majority of national-team players in Canada and the United States are PWHPA members.

The PWHPA's roster Thursday featured women who previously played for Canada at world championships and Olympic Games β€” Loren Gabel, Sarah Potomak, Brigette Lacquette and Laura Fortino β€” as well as forward Jessie Eldridge who was released from Canada's centralized roster last week.

Canada and the PWHPA all-stars meet again Saturday in Calgary. The Canadian team then resumes its Rivalry Series against the United States Dec. 15 in St. Louis.

Canada leads the nine-game series with a record of 2-1-1.

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