CALGARY, Alta. – For the eighth time in the event’s nine-tournament history, Ontario Red has won the gold medal at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, defeating Ontario Blue 8-1 in the final game Sunday at the Markin MacPhail Centre.
More than 7,500 fans filtered through the doors of Hockey Canada’s home arena over the course of the five-day tournament, which started Wednesday, Nov. 6, to watch 18 games including 12 preliminary round games, two placement round games, two semifinal games and both the bronze and gold medal games.
This year’s National Women’s Under-18 Championship also marked only the second time in the tournament’s history that Ontario Blue played Ontario Red in the gold medal game. The last time Ontario Blue and Ontario Red played for gold was at the 2009 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Surrey, B.C. Ontario Red beat Ontario Blue 5-1 to win the national championship title. Ontario Blue won gold last year in Dawson Creek, B.C.
Brooke Hartwick (Thorndale, Ont./Bluewater, PWHL) kicked off the scoring for Ontario Red in Sunday’s gold medal game at 12:19 in the first on an assist from Taytum Clairmont (Waterloo, Ont./Toronto, PWHL). Clairmont then assisted Nadine Edney (Mississauga, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) on a power play in the last five seconds of the period to make it 2-0 going into intermission.
Rebecca Leslie (Ottawa, Ont./Ottawa, PWHL) scored with even strength, while Edney and Lauren Wildfang (Waterdown, Ont./Toronto, PWHL) both scored on power plays, in the second for Ontario Red, but Kennedy Marchment (Courtice, Ont./Durham West, PWHL) added one to the scoreboard in the last minute of the period on an Ontario Blue power play to make it 5-1 after 40 minutes.
Mackenzie MacNeil (Richmond Hill, Ont./Toronto, PWHL) added another in the third for Ontario Red, while Clairmont had both a shorthanded goal and regulation goal in the final frame, for the 8-1 final score over Ontario Blue. Kassidy Sauvé (Whitby, Ont./Whitby, PWHL) made 26 saves over 60 minutes for Ontario Red.
Earlier Sunday, Alberta edged Quebec 6-5 in overtime to claim the bronze medal in front of a home province crowd. This marked Alberta’s first medal ever at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship. Amy Boucher (Edmonton, Alta./Edmonton, AMMFHL) scored the game-winner at 3:58 in OT, tipping in a blue line shot from Codie Cross (Airdrie, Alta./Edge School, JWHL). Boucher also scored a shorthanded goal to tie up the game. Kennedy Ganser (Provost, Alta./Lloydminster, AMMFHL) scored in the first for Alberta, while Karly Heffernan (Sherwood Park, Alta./Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA) and Shae Labbe (Calgary, Alta./Warner School, JWHL) also added goals in the third.
Award winners for the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship were announced Saturday. The tournament’s awards committee named five recipients, with the awards based on the preliminary round games played from Wednesday, November 6 through Friday, November 8.
The 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship award winners are as follows:
Top Goaltender – Marlene Boissonnault; Dundee, N.B./Rothesay Netherwood, Canadian Prep (Atlantic)
Top Defenceman – Jessica Healey; Edmonton, Alta./Edmonton, AMMFHL (Alberta)
Top Forward – Ève-Audrey Picard; Longueuil, Que./Stanstead College, Canadian Prep (Quebec)
Most Valuable Player – Rebecca Leslie; Ottawa, Ont./Ottawa, PWHL (Ontario Red)
Most Sportsmanlike Player – Alexandra Labelle; St-Louis de Gonzague, Que./St-Laurent, RSEQ (Quebec)
The eight rosters featured all 22 players who played with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team and defeated the United States in a three-game series in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August, including Karly Heffernan (Sherwood Park, Alta./Edge School, JWHL) and Hannah Miller (North Vancouver, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL), who helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Heinola and Vierumäki, Finland, in January.
The 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, hosted in partnership by Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, Hockey Calgary and Girls Hockey Calgary, marked the first time Alberta has hosted the event. The National Women’s Under-18 Championship is held annually, although it is replaced by the Canada Winter Games every four years. This year’s tournament helped celebrate the 25th anniversary of Girls Hockey Calgary, which was established in 1988 by local women’s hockey advocates Suzanne Jackett and Shannon Miller. Miller went on to win a silver medal as head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
The 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship brought together the best female hockey players born in 1996 or later. The tournament also serves as an important platform for Hockey Canada scouts, led by general manager of National Women’s Team programs Melody Davidson, who evaluated candidates for the Canadian contingent that will compete at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Budapest, Hungary, in March.
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 Girls Hockey Calgary, please visit www.girlshockeycalgary.com; for more information on Hockey Calgary please visit www.hockeycalgary.ca; and for more information on Hockey Alberta, please visit www.hockeyalberta.ca.
For more information on the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/nwu18c, and follow via social media at www.facebook.com/womensu18 and www.twitter.com/hc_nwu18.