Spooner, Daoust and Fillier a top-scoring trio for Canada in women's world hockey

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CALGARY — Linemates Natalie Spooner, Sarah Fillier and Melodie Daoust continued to be a productive trio for Canada at the women's world hockey championship.

The three women combined for four goals in the host country's 7-0 quarterfinal win Saturday over Germany. Canada faces Switzerland in Monday's semifinal.

The medal games are Tuesday at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre.

Spooner scored twice and had an assist Saturday. Daoust's goal and two assists gave her a team-leading four goals and six assists in five tournament games, ahead of Spooner with four goals and five assists.

Fillier, the youngest player on Canada's roster at 21 years old, had three goals and two assists.

Fillier, Ashton Bell and Marie-Philip Poulin each had a goal and an assist, and Brianne Jenner also scored for Canada.

Spooner, Daoust and Fillier are a new combination in Canada's attack.

"It's no secret Daoust plays with good poise and patience and has great hands and distributes the puck well," Canadian head coach Troy Ryan said.

"Natalie Spooner does a lot of the down-low work and is prepared to occupy good space in front of the net. Sarah Fillier is a finisher that plays the game with speed.

"They made sense, at least on paper. Both Daoust and Natalie are great with young players, so we knew that would help Sarah come along and gain confidence as the event went on."

Spooner says each woman brings complementary skills to the table.

"The good thing about my job is I am around the net so I get to knock in some of the garbage and tip a few pucks in," she explained.

"I've actually never had the chance to play with Melo before, so that was a new one. She definitely faked me out the first few times in practice. I thought she was going to shoot it every time. We're all so different and it's working for us."

Canadian goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer faced just three shots for her shutout.

Germany's Franziska Albl stopped 22 shots over two periods of work. Sandra Abstreiter made 23 saves in the third.

Poulin returned to Canada's lineup Saturday. The captain sat out a 5-1 win over the United States to conclude the preliminary round after taking a hard shot in the chest earlier in the tournament.

Canada topped Pool A at 4-0 and met third-placed Germany (2-2) in Pool B.

Injuries whittled the German side down to 16 skaters in what was already going to be an uphill battle against Canada.

Nina Christof, Laura Kluge and Sonja Weidenfelder sustained various hurts in a preliminary-round loss to Japan and defender Carina Strobel was also scratched Saturday. Forward Anne Bartsch fractured her wrist before the tournament began.

Germany's ranks thinned further when defender Lena Dusterhoft was slapped with a game misconduct early in the third period for checking from behind.

"I think we said that we just wanted to leave it all out there," assistant captain Anna Reich said. "These players that unfortunately got injured in the games before, they would have done the exact same thing for us.

"So we knew that we just wanted to play our hearts out for them."

In Saturday's other quarterfinals, the U.S. downed Japan 10-2, Finland edged the Czech Republic 1-0 and the Swiss downed Russia 3-2 in overtime.

Hilary Knight led the Americans with two goals and an assist to become her country's all-time world championship points leader with a career 80.

The U.S. takes on Finland in Monday's other semifinal in a rematch of the gold-medal game in 2019.

Switzerland reached the semifinals for the first time since winning bronze at the 2012 world championship in Burlington, Vt. Laura Zimmerman scored the OT winner for the Swiss.

As the highest-seeded semifinalist, Canada meets the lowest-seeded Swiss on Monday.

Fillier scored on a goal-mouth feed from Spooner at 13:34 of the third. Daoust produced Canada's first power-play goal of the tournament on a feed from Poulin during Dusterhoft's major.

Poulin swept a pass from Victoria Bach under Albl's glove at 15:31 of the second period after Spooner notched her second from the high slot at 8:01.

Jenner and Spooner both scored on rebounds and Bell earned her first of the tournament banking the puck off Albl in the first.

Since players, team personnel and officials arrived Aug. 10 in Calgary, no one had tested positive as of Friday among the 2,806 COVID-19 tests administered, the International Ice Hockey Federation said Saturday in a statement.

Hockey Canada kept the option of selling tickets for the playoff round open when the tournament began, but the organization and the host committee ultimately decided against it.

Up to 120 family members are allowed into a dedicated section of the arena.

Germany and Russia meet Sunday to determine fifth place with the winner competing in the top pool at the next world championship. The Czechs and Japan will play for seventh.

Hungary (1-3) and Denmark (0-4) won't be relegated from Pool B.

The IIHF wants to realign relegation and promotion because lower-division world championships weren't held during the pandemic.

The IIHF also intends to introduce a women's championship into Olympic years starting next August.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2021.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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