KITCHENER, ON – For the fourth consecutive time, Ontario Red and Quebec will meet for the gold medal at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship after posting semi-final wins on Saturday at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Ontario Red defeated Team Atlantic 6-1 in the early semi-final, while Quebec topped Manitoba 6-0 in the late game.
These teams are no stranger to each other in gold medal games, having met in the final game at each of the last three national championships. Ontario Red has taken home the top prize in each of the three previous meetings, winning 3-2 in overtime in 2001 (Trois-Rivières, QC), 5-0 in January 2005 (Salmon Arm, BC) and 2-1 in November 2005 (Salmon Arm, BC).
Quebec has the honour of being the last team to defeat Ontario Red at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, taking a 5-4 decision in the round robin of the 2001 event. Since then, the Ontarians have won 17 games in a row, outscoring the opposition 75-9, including 11 shutouts.
Ontario Red put the game out of reach early against Team Atlantic, scoring three goals in the opening 4:03 to jump out to the early big lead. Team captain Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, ON) led the way with three goals and an assist, while Candice Styles (Orangeville, ON) pitched in with a goal and two helpers. Ontario Red has spread around the offence, with eight player registering at least three points, led by Styles’ six (three goals, three assists).
Quebec got two goals and two assists from tournament leading scorer Audrey Bélanger-Cournoyer (Montreal, QC) – giving her 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in four games – in their win over Team Atlantic. Camille Dumais (Beaconsfield, QC) added four points of her own and Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, QC) had a pair of assists, giving Quebec’s big line 10 points. Joannie Lebrun (Sept-Îles, QC) turned aside all 29 shots she faced to record the shutout.
The puck will drop on the gold medal game of the 2007 National Women’s Under-18 Championship on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. The game can be seen live on TSN/RDS, the official broadcaster of TSN (check your local listings).
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