ÖSTERSUND, Sweden – For the second straight year, Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team has won the gold medal at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, shutting out Sweden 10-0 on Sunday in Östersund.
Caitlin Kraemer (Waterloo, Ont./Waterloo, OWHA U22 Elite) scored a hat trick in a span of 6:44 in the first period - the fastest in tournament history - and added a fourth goal in the third to give her a tournament total of 10, passing Marie-Philip Poulin for the most goals by a Canadian in a single tournament.
“This team has been such a big part of my achievements, I could not have done it without them,” said Kraemer, who was named to the media all-star team. “We wanted to leave the world knowing who we are. I am at a loss for words. You dream about this as a little kid, and to win is amazing.”
Alexia Aubin (Lévis, Que./Stanstead College, JWHL) scored twice while Piper Grober (Toronto, Ont./Durham West, OWHA U22 Elite), Mackenzie Alexander (Toronto, Ont./Etobicoke, OWHA U22 Elite), Abby Lunney (Holland Landing, Ont./Central York, OWHA U22 Elite) and Charlotte Pieckenhagen (Mississauga, Ont./Mississauga, OWHA U22 Elite) rounded out the scoring.
Canada scored five goals in the first 12 minutes to take control early, added three more in the second and two in the third. The Canadians, who went back-to-back at the tournament for the first time since they won three in a row from 2012-14, outshot the host Swedes 40-21.
“So fun to watch, so proud of this group. We knew they were going to bring it today, but getting to watch them celebrate the little things, be happy for each other was great,” said assistant coach Tara Watchorn (Newcastle, Ont./Stonehill College, NEWHA). “This group was special, no doubt. To get to see them represent their country with pride, class and so much skill was a lot of fun.”
Hannah Clark (Oshawa, Ont./Etobicoke, OWHA U22 Elite) made 21 saves for her first international shutout and fourth win of the tournament.
“We knew what our end goal was; we knew we had a job to do and were going to work as hard as possible to get it done,” said Clark. “Our team has so much heart. I love every one of these girls and I know we love each other. You dream about [winning gold] since you are little, it is so special.”
Following the gold medal game, Canada’s top three players were announced – Kraemer, Emmalee Pais (London, Ont./London, OWHA U22 Elite) and Ava Murphy (Kitchener, Ont./Oakville, OWHA U22 Elite).
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