CANADA BEATS CZECHS, ADVANCES TO SEMIFINALS AT U18 WORLDS
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA) scored twice and added two assists, and five other players had goals for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team as it advanced to the semifinals at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, topping the Czech Republic 7-1 on Thursday afternoon.
Élizabeth Giguère (Quebec City, Que./Limoilou, CEGEP) ended the game with a goal and two assists, while Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout (Rouyn-Noranda, Que./Limoilou, CEGEP), Micah Hart (Saanichton, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL), Lindsay Agnew (Oakville, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL), and Kristin O’Neill (Oakville, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL) each added goals to the scoreboard.
Surprisingly, it was the Czechs who took an early lead in the first period after Michaela Pejzlova beat Marlène Boissonnault (Dundee, N.B./Rothesay Netherwood School, CAHS) at 11:18 to put the European side up 1-0.
Giguère answered back for the Canadians, netting the equalizer off a perfect pass through the crease from Potomak for her third goal of the tournament with just 1:29 left in the opening frame.
The second period was all Canada, which outshot the Czechs 20-0 in the period.
First it was Potomak, who notched her first of the afternoon just 28 seconds into the second on a nifty backhand she lifted over the glove of Czech goaltender Katerina Zechovska.
Coutu-Godbout banged in a Ryleigh Houston (Winnipeg, Man./Balmoral Hall School, JWHL) rebound at 7:46, Hart scored from the point on the power play at 10:11 and Agnew tapped in a rebound at 18:36, putting the Canadians in full control with a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Blanka Skodova replaced Zechovska in the Czech goal to start the third period but it didn’t make any difference to the Canadians, who continued to dominate puck possession.
O’Neill got her first of the tournament with less than four minutes to go, showing off slick hands from in close, and Potomak’s second of the game capped the scoring and added to her tournament-leading point total in the final two minutes.
Boissonnault picked up her first win in the Canadian goal, making just seven saves.
Canada held a one-sided 50-8 advantage in shots on goal.
The Canadians will enjoy two days off before they see the ice again at HarborCenter; they’ll play in Sunday’s first semifinal at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT.