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Apps' second-period goal paces Canadian women's team past boys team 3-1 @NHLdotcom

HELSINKI, Finland - Gillian Apps's second-period goal proved to be the winner as Canada's national women's hockey team defeated EHC Red Devil, a Helsinki-based midget AAA boys team, 3-1 in an exhibition game Saturday.

Tessa Bonhomme and Caroline Ouellette had the other goals for Canada.

The Canadian team is in Finland preparing for the world championship, which will be held April 4-12 in Hameenlinna.

Bonhomme, of Sudbury, Ont., opened the scoring for Canada at 16:00 of the first period. She scored after completing a slick give-and-go with Ouellette, of Montreal.

Apps, of Unionville, Ont., made it 2-0 at 5:05 of the second before Ouellette scored the third Canadian goal at 14:11.

Charline Labonte of Boisbriand, Que., went the distance in goal for Canada, stopping 22 shots for the win. She lost her shutout bid at 16:44 of the third when EFC forward Jani Punnala scored on a penalty shot.

Hockey Canada also announced Saturday that veteran forward Hayley Wickenheiser has again been named team captain for the upcoming world championship.

Wickenheiser, of Shaunavon, Sask., has been captain of the national women's team since 2007. Jayna Hefford of Kingston, Ont., Becky Kellar of Hagersville, Ont., and Ouellette will share duties as Canada's alternates.

"We believe each of our players has the ability to be leaders in their own way and we're looking to Hayley, Jayna, Becky and Caroline to bring that quality out in everyone," Canadian coach Melody Davidson said in a statement.

Canada will play two more exhibition games. It will face the Espoo Blues on Sunday before taking on the Finnish national women's team Tuesday night.

The Canadian are looking to rebound at this year's tournament after losing to the United States in last year's final. Canada has won nine of 11 gold medals all-time at the world championship.

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