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Agosta has three points as Canada's national women's team beats UFA Bisons

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CALGARY - Meghan Agosta had a goal and two assists and Rebecca Johnston scored twice as Canada's national women's team edged the UFA Bisons 6-5 on Friday night in the second game for both at the Icebreaker Tournament.

Agosta, of Ruthven, Ont., opened the scoring at 6:30 of the first period on a Canadian power play, banking a shot in off Bisons' goaltender Devon Fordyce.

Andrew Bergmann evened things at 1-1 midway through the opening period, striking quick for the Bisons after a Canadian turnover.

Brandon Esposito then caught up to a clearing effort and beat Canadian goalie Kim St-Pierre (with a wrist shot off the wing, giving UFA a short-handed goal and a 2-1 lead.

Canada evened the score on the same power play, though, as Agosta, camped behind the net, found Marie-Philip Poulin of Beauceville, Que., in the slot, and Poulin fired a quick shot past Fordyce.

Hayley Wickenheiser of Shaunavon, Sask., made it 3-2 just past the seven-minute mark of the second period, stepping around a Bisons defenceman and getting a backhand by Fordyce.

Johnston of Sudbury, Ont., added her first goal at 16:02, using her speed to cut towards the net and getting a shot past George Merik, who took over for Fordyce at the game's midway point.

UFA cut into the lead a mere thirty seconds later, as Mike Winther won a battle along the boards, stepped in front and got a backhand over St-Pierre, but Johnston added her second goal of the period to restore the two-goal lead, finishing off a great passing play between the Sudbury native and linemates Haley Irwin ( and Sarah Vaillancourt.

The Bisons cut the lead to one once more, as Trent Ouellette got the midget side to within one of Canada with one period to play.

Irwin added an insurance marker early in the third, a goal which ended up as the winner when Bisons' captain Jason Swyripa scored with 4.5 seconds left in the game to round out the scoring.

The tournament, titled the Midget Challenge, kicks off the women's 31-game schedule against Alberta Midget Hockey League clubs this winter as they prepare for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C. The midget teams have agreed to not bodycheck in the games.

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