The women’s hockey team started their quest for a third straight gold medal with a record setting 18-0 pummelling of Team Slovakia Saturday night.
The score bested Canada’s 16-0 victory over Italy at the Turin Games in 2006.
Jayna Hefford completed the hat trick late in the third period to give Canada the record breaking 17th goal of the game.
Hefford didn’t stop there.
She added three assists in the contest, tying the Olympic record for six points in one game.
There was almost no competition for Canada, as they outshot their opponents 67-9.
The defeat would have been worse had it not been for Slovakian goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova, who made amazing saves in each period of the game to keep the score as low as it was.
Slovakia, who is ranked 15th in the world, is competing in its first Olympic Games.
To put this all into perspective, Canada has over 75,000 registered female hockey players while Slovakia only has 288.
“It’s not a game you want to play in, and you don’t take a lot of pride in a score like that,” Hefford told The Globe and Mail. “But it’s the Olympic ideals. We train for four years, and we’ll hopefully play five games in this tournament. So, to take one night off, that’s unfair to us.”
Defenceman Meaghan Mikkelson was the only Canadian to not register a point in the match, while 11 different players found the back of the net.
Both Caroline Ouellette and Meghan Agosta, who also netted a hat trick, had five points.
Canada led 7-0 after one period, and 13-0 after two.
While Canada has three strong goalies all worthy of getting the start, only two can dress per game according to Olympic rules.
Kim St-Pierre, who led Canada to gold in Turin, was given the start by head coach Melody Davidson, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be between the pipes every game of the tournament.
Davidson will likely play multiple goaltenders during the preliminary rounds before settling on a number one goalie for the semifinals.
Canada was 2-for-6 on the power play and scored two short-handed goals.
The Slovaks face Sweden on Monday, while Canada will play Switzerland.