DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – For the first time in history, Ontario Blue has won the gold medal at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, defeating Manitoba 4-2 in the final game Sunday in front of more than 1,500 fans at the EnCana Events Centre.
In the gold medal game, which aired live on www.TSN.ca, and will be replayed on TSN2 at 7:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. MT on Tuesday, November 13, Jessica Vallotton (Glenboro, Man.) opened the scoring midway through the first period to make it 1-0 for Manitoba. But Paige Horton (St. Thomas, Ont.) answered less than two minutes later to tie it up at 1-1 going into intermission.
Manitoba replied with a goal from Lauryn Keen (Manitou, Man.) at 3:27 in the second, but Krista Yip-Chuck (Whitby, Ont.) of Ontario Blue evened it up again before the middle frame was done. Hailey Noronha (Newmarket, Ont.) scored the game-winning goal just over a minute into the third period, and Brooke Webster (Aurora, Ont.) scored on the empty net in the very last second of the game to guarantee Ontario Blue the gold medal. Horton was named player of the game for Ontario Blue, while Ashleigh Brykaliuk (Brandon, Man.) received player of the game honours for Manitoba.
Earlier Sunday, Ontario Red defeated B.C. 3-2 in an exciting game that ended in overtime. Stephanie Payne (Surrey, B.C.) and Leah Lum (Richmond, B.C.) scored for host team British Columbia, while Kristyn Capizzano (Oakville, Ont.) scored one and Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.) scored two goals for Ontario Red, including the game-winner in overtime. Ontario Red has won the gold medal at the previous seven National Women’s Under-18 Championship since the event’s 2001 inception in Trois-Rivières, Que.
Tournament award winners were announced for the 2012 National Women’s Under-18 Championship following Sunday’s gold medal game. Winners are as follows.
Most Valuable Player: Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man.) – Manitoba
Top Forward: Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.) – British Columbia
Top Defenceman: Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man.) – Manitoba
Top Goaltender: Jessica Dodds (London, Ont.) – Ontario Blue
Most Sportsmanlike Player: Marie-Jo Pelletier (Dalhousie, N.B.) - Atlantic
The eight rosters that competed at this year’s national championship include 21 of the 22 players who were members of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series against the United States in Blaine, Minn., in August, and five players who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Prerov and Zlin, Czech Republic, in January.
This was the fourth time British Columbia has hosted the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, with Surrey welcoming the event in 2009 and Salmon Arm holding the January 2005 and November 2005 editions of the tournament.
The National Women’s Under-18 Championship brings together teams made up of the best female hockey players born in 1995 or later. The tournament serves as an important platform for Hockey Canada scouts, led by head scout of women’s national team programs Melody Davidson, who are evaluating candidates for the Canadian contingent that will compete at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship next January in Vierumäki, Finland, as well as at other international events.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Please contact Kristen Lipscombe, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of communications, for any National Women’s Under-18 Championship interview requests at (403) 826-4819 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the 2012 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/nwu18c, and follow all the action from Dawson Creek via social media at www.facebook.com/womensu18 and www.twitter.com/hc_nwu18.