Canada 4 - United States 1
NATIONAL WOMEN’S UNDER-18 TEAM SWEEPS USA WITH 4-1 WIN
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team took to the ice on Sunday morning at the University of Ottawa Sports Complex and finished what they had started three days earlier, sweeping the three-game series with the USA’s National Women’s Under-18 Team with a 4-1 win.
The series win means that Canada will enter the 2008 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship – to be held in January in Canada (location to be determined) – as the tournament’s top seed.
The Americans actually outshot the Canadians overall – 25-23 – but the hosts used solid goaltending and timely scoring to come away with a victory.
After a penalty-filled start to the game, which saw both teams enjoy a two-man advantage of over a minute, it was the Canadians who found the scoresheet first in the final minute of the opening period.
Leslie Oles (Beaconsfield, QC) worked hard down low to control the puck, eventually sliding it across the crease to Carolyne Prevost (Sarnia, ON), who slammed it by American goaltender Rebecca Ruegsegger for the 1-0 lead.
The Canadians held a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes – the only period they would lead in that category.
It took less than two minutes of the second period for Canada to extend their lead, as Laura McIntosh (Waterloo, ON) fed the puck in front to Catherine White (Brampton, ON), who tapped it into the open goal.
Canada made a goaltending change at the midway point of the period, as Delayne Brian (Winnipeg, MB) replaced Hillary Pattenden (Surrey, BC), who stopped all 11 shots she faced in her 30 minutes of work.
Brittany Haverstock (Hammonds Plains, NS) increased the lead to 3-0 late in the middle frame, snapping a shot past Ruegsegger after a beautiful passing play on the Canadian man advantage. Alyssa Wiebe (Saskatoon, SK) picked up the assist on Haverstock’s first of the series.
The Americans got on the board late in the period, as Brianna Decker, who scored three of the USA’s four goals in the series, picked up a loose puck at her own blueline after a Canadian forward fell, raced in on Brian and beat her high on the backhand to cut the lead to 3-1.
White – who was named Canada’s Player of the Game – wrapped up the scoring in the third period, poking a loose puck past Ruegsegger at the side of the net. McIntosh and Chelsea Karpenko (Winnipeg, MB) picked up the assists on White’s insurance marker.
The Canadians allowed very few quality scoring chances to the Americans, and Pattenden and Brian were there to turn away whatever shots got through.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team will now disperse and return to their club teams, with evaluations being done by Hockey Canada during the first three months of the season.
The Canadian roster for the 2008 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship will be released in December.