FÜSSEN, Germany – For the ninth time in 11 years, Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team has won the gold medal at the Meco Cup, defeating Russia 8-3 in Sunday’s gold medal game at Füssen Arena.
Canada finished the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record against senior women’s teams, beating host Germany 8-1 on Wednesday, Jan. 2, shutting out Switzerland 4-0 on Thursday, Jan. 3, and blanking Finland 2-0 on Saturday, Jan. 5 in the preliminary round to advance to the gold medal game.
On Sunday, Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que./McGill University, CIS) opened the scoring at 11:01 in the first, but Russia’s Ekaterina Lebdeva answered just 13 seconds later to tie it up. Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont./Clarkson University, ECAC) restored the Canadian lead at 13:21, but Russia replied again with a goal from Tatiana Burina before Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont./Dartmouth University, ECAC) scored at 19:14 to give Canada the 3-2 edge going into intermission.
Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) gave Canada the game’s first two-goal lead at 3:11 of the middle frame and Daoust scored her second at 6:31 to make it 5-2 for Canada after 40 minutes. Brigette Lacquette (Waterhen, Man./University of Minnesota Duluth, WCHA) added another at 4:38 in the third, and Burina scored again for Russia at 8:48, but Caroylne Prévost (Sarnia, Ont./Montreal, CWHL) and Sarah Edney (Mississauga, Ont./Harvard University, ECAC) capped it off with two empty net goals late in the third. Christina Kessler (Mississauga, Ont./Toronto, CWHL) made 15 saves for the win, and assisted two goals.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team will fly home Monday, with all players and staff returning to their club teams throughout North America.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team was led by head coach Pierre Alain (Saint-Colomban, Que./Concordia University, CIS), along with assistant coaches Tim Bothwell (Burlington, Ont./Alberta, CWHL) and Cassandra Turner (Campbellford, Ont./Quinnipiac University, ECAC). Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Boston University, HE) served as captain, while Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) and Jenner were alternate captains.
Canada’s roster includes two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards. Roster selection is based on evaluations by Hockey Canada scouts, led by Hockey Canada’s head scout of women’s national teams Melody Davidson, and Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team coaching staff.
Player evaluations have been based on performances at the 2012 National Women’s Under-22/Development Team selection camp and three-game series against the United States, both held in Calgary, Alta., in August, other past performances within Canada’s National Women’s Program, with their provincial and regional programs, as well as with their respective club teams in leagues such as the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL), Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Canada is a nine-time gold medallist at the Meco Cup, winning gold in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 20.
For more information on the Meco Cup and the 2012 National Women’s Under-22/Development Team, please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca/NWT, and follow along via social media at www.Facebook.com/HockeyCanada, www.Twitter.com/HockeyCanada and www.Twitter.com/HC_TeamCanada.