HEINOLA, Finland – Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team will defend its gold medal Saturday at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, after defeating Sweden 7-2 in semifinal action Friday at Heinola Arena.
Canada will face off against the United States in the gold medal game for the sixth time in as many years, tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. local time/11:30 a.m. ET at Heinola Arena. Live statistics from the game will be available online at www.HockeyCanada.ca.
In Friday’s semifinal, Ashley Brykaliuk (Brandon, Man./Westman, MFMHL) recorded a hat trick, scoring one goal per period, while Geneviève Bannon (Candiac, Que./Ontario Hockey Academy, Midget AA) and Kristin Gilmour (Millgrove, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) scored their first international goals. Kristyn Capizzano (Oakville, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) and Catherine Dubois (Quebec City, Que./Limoilou, Collégial AA) also added goals to the scoreboard. Kimberly Newell (Burnaby, B.C./Princeton University, ECAC) made 23 saves for the win.
In the other semifinal Friday, the U.S. blanked the Czech Republic 10-0 to earn its spot in the gold medal game. Sweden and the Czech Republic will battle for the bronze medal tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. local time/7:30 a.m. ET, also at Heinola Arena.
In the preliminary round earlier this week, Canada beat Hungary 4-1 on Saturday, Dec. 29, blanked Finland 4-0 on Sunday, Dec. 30 and shut out Germany 7-0 on Tuesday, Jan. 1, finishing first in Group A. The United States took first place in Group B with three straight wins.
Canada and the United States have met in all five previous gold medal games at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship. Canada won the world championship last year, shutting out the Americans 3-0 in Zlin, Czech Republic. Canada also won in 2010, defeating its cross-border rival 5-4 in overtime in Chicago, Ill. The U.S. took gold in 2008, 20.
Captain Capizzano, alternate captains Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL) and Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man./Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA), along with Brykaliuk and Dubois, all return this year after winning the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Zlin. Jessica Dodds (London, Ont./London, PWHL), Gilmour and Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL) are making their Team Canada debuts at this world championship.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team includes two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards. Seventeen players were members of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series against the U.S. Women’s Under-18 Team in August in Blaine, Minn., winning two of those games.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, broken down by province:
Alberta – three (Taryn Baumgardt*, Eden Murray*, Karly Heffernan*)
British Columbia - three (Kimberly Newell*, Hannah Miller*, Alexa Ranahan*)
Manitoba - three (Ashleigh Brykaliuk*, Halli Krzyzaniak*, Cassidy Carels*)
Ontario – eight (Hanna Bunton*, Kristyn Capizzano*, Jessica Dodds, Kristin Gilmour, Corie Jacobson, Sydney McKibbon*, Alex Moore, Sarah Nurse)
Prince Edward Island – one (Sarah Steele*)
Quebec – three (Geneviève Bannon*, Catherine Daoust*, Catherine Dubois*)
Saskatchewan – one (Emily Clark*)
*played for Canada in a three-game series against the United States in August.
In preliminary round action at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, Canada also plays Finland at 10:30 a.m. ET/5:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, Dec. 30 at Heinola Arena and Germany at 8 a.m. ET/3 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at Vierumäki Arena. Quarter-finals are scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 2 and semifinals are set for Friday, Jan. 4, all at Heinola Arena.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Kristen Lipscombe, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of communications, will be on site in Finland for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship. Please contact her for any interview requests leading up to and during the event at (403) 826-4819 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at www.Twitter.com/HC_TeamCanada; become a fan of Hockey Canada at www.Facebook.com/HockeyCanada; and for statistics, stories, post-game video interviews and much more from Finland, please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca/NWT.