In a gold medal game they will look very familiar to both teams, the US and Canada will meet for Women’s Under 18 Championship for the 10th straight year.
The US got there by beating Russia by a score of 6-0 while the Canadians won their semifinal contest against Sweden 6-2.
For the US, it was Grace Zumwinkle scoring her first three goals of the tournament to lead the Americans. She picked up two gals in the first period to get her team off to a quick start and added a third goal in the second period to complete the hat trick. The other goals were scored by Taylor Wente, Catherine Skaja and Natalie Heising.
“I thought it was our best game of the tournament,” U.S. coach Joel Johnson assessed. “Everything from our defensive play to getting a variety of players involved in the offense was good. It was a really well-balanced game from us and I’m proud of our kids.”
The game was definitely one-sided as the US team sent 51 shots at the Russian goalie while American goaltender Lindsay Reed only faced 6 shots to get the shutout.
Canada went up against a Sweden team that was hit hard by the flu bug in their semifinal game. The Swedes needed to scratch 4 players from the lineup who stayed back at the hotel due to the flu. Another player was unavailable to play and eight minutes into the game Fia Larsson was taken to the hospital with a possible concussion after taking a big hit.
The first period featured a total of seven penalties between the two teams but only one goal. Canada’s Brooke Hobson had the only goal to put her team up 1-0. In the second, Canada jumped out to a 3-0 lead when Sarah Fillier and Sophie Shirley added goals.
But Sweden showed some heart as they scored two goals before the end of the period to make the score 3-2. But Shirley scored again for Canada five minutes into the third and they wouldn’t look back.
“We’re pleased with the end result,” said Canada’s coach Troy Ryan, “but not necessarily the process to getting there. We’ve played better, and I know we can play better tomorrow. We came out a little flat. We took some penalties we shouldn’t have. But we came here to play for a gold medal, and now we have that opportunity.”
Both teams now look forward to the gold medal game on Saturday. Last years game went to overtime between the USA and Canada with the US winning it 3-2. Canada would like to get a little revenge and take the gold this year. It promises to be a hard-fought and exciting game.
The HockeyClan Writers