Canada is headed to the finals of the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship after defeating Sweden 6-2 in the semifinal on Friday.
Sophie Shirley (Saskatoon, Sask./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) and Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) each scored two goals in the win that secured their spot against the U.S. today (1 p.m. ET/10 PT) in Zlin, Czech Republic.
The U.S. and Canada have gone head-to-head in the gold medal game every year since the tournament’s inception in 2008. The U.S. has defeated Canada the past two years in the gold medal game in matching 3-2 overtime victories.
“When people think of women’s hockey it’s always Canada against the U.S. The puck goes back and forth and there is scoring opportunities here and here. It just goes back and forth all the time so I think it will be a good test for both teams to see what we have,” said U.S. forward Grace Zumwinkle, who is one of their scoring leaders.
Canada went undefeated through the preliminary round which included a massive overtime effort by Ashton Bell (Deloraine, Man./Westman, MFMHL) to give them a 1-0 overtime win over the U.S. It was the first time the Canadians have beaten their rivals at the world championship since the 2014 gold medal game (a span of five games).
Bell did it all on the game winner, back checking to strip the puck from an American in the neutral zone before turning up-ice, cutting onto the left wing and picking the top corner on U.S. goaltender Alex Gulstene.
— U18 Women's Worlds (@HC_U18WWC) January 10, 2017Canada kicked off the tournament with a 5-1 win over Sweden. Olivia Knowles (Campbell River, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) led the way with a goal and an assist.
Amy Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pacific, JWHL) broke open a tie game with a powerplay goal in the third period in Canada’s eventual 4-2 win over Russia. Shirley, Brette Pettet (Kentville, N.S./Shattuck-St. Mary’s, CAHS) and Potomak each had two points in the win. Canadian netminder Edith D’Astous-Moreau (Laval, Que./Nepean, PWHL) picked up the win in net in that preliminary game and in the semifinal against Sweden.
Goaltender Danika Ranger (Uxbridge, Ont./Durham West, PWHL) has also been outstanding for the Canadian team. She allowed just one goal on 45 shots in the two games she played in the preliminary round, including earning the shutout win over the U.S. Ranger, who helped Ontario Red win the 2016 National Women’s U18 Championship and Esso Cup being named Top Goaltender at both events, likes the big game pressure.
“The Esso Cup made me comfortable in tougher situations and trying to find my comfort zone in the game,” she said. “Its definitely a more difficult game and it made me a better goalie.”Back to Top
1) ISS Hockey Releases May Top 31 Rankings for 2018 NHL Draft
2) 2018 RBC Cup Kicks Off in Chilliwack
3) Ontario Hockey Association Announces 2017-18 Prospects
4) Western Canada Cup No More
5) Meet Matthew Savoie, the NAX Forward Taking the CSSHL by Storm