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Desbiens, Canada shut out Olympic Athletes from Russia

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Three second-period goals helped Canada earn its first win of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games. Rebecca Johnston had three points including two goals, as Canada looks to defend its title for the fifth consecutive Olympics.

Ann-Renee Desbiens made 18 saves and earned her first shutout of the tournament in a 5-0 victory over the Olympic Athletes from Russia.

Melodie Daoust scored twice, and Haley Irwin added a goal of her own for Canada.

Despite the comfortable margin of victory, the underdogs kept the score level through an entire period. A lethal Canadian power play helped dash any hopes of an upset, and OAR was unable to capitalize on either of it's man-up opportunities.

"I was happy to see our power play put two away," Canada head coach Laura Schuler said. "That's obviously really important for us, for . . . our penalty kill to kill off all the penalties and be at 100 percent. Definitely happy with how our specialty teams performed tonight."

Nadezhda Morozova stopped 33 shots, but OAR was heavily outplayed by the tourament favorite. At 10:44 of the final frame, backup goaltender Nadezhda Alexandrova replaced Morozova.

Johnston scored first when Brianne Jenner found her dashing to the net at 1:55 of the second period.

Less than three minutes later, Irwin was able to redirect Johnston’s shot from the point to double Canada’s lead. Russian defender Yekaterina Lobova was penalized for an illegal hit, and Canada capitalized on the man advantage.

At 15:58 of the middle frame, Daoust finished a pretty feed from Meghan Agosta to give Canada a 3-0 lead.

Johnston's second of the night came on a two-man advantage at 8:41 of the third period. The two-time Olympian was able to perfectly place a wrist shot to give Canada a 4-0 lead, before Daoust also grabbed her second goal to extend the lead to five. 

The OAR squad took positives from the loss, as the inexperienced roster looks to make some noise in the stacked Group A, which also features Canada, the United States and Finland.

"We will try to play the same as we did in the first period," OAR foward Valeria Pavlova said. "I think we played pretty well today, and we will try to play better.

"I came [to the Olympics] for a medal," she continued. "The higher, the better."

OAR will face Team USA next on Feb, 13th, at 7:10 a.m. on NBCSN

Oliver Jung contributed to this report

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