CANADA FALLS IN OT, SETTLES FOR SILVER AT U18 WORLDS
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Marlène Boissonnault (Dundee, N.B./Rothesay Netherwood School, CAHS) stood tall, finishing with 38 saves, but Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team was left with the silver medal at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship after a 3-2 overtime loss to the United States in Monday’s gold medal game.
The loss ends Canada’s three-year run as world champions; it’s the fourth time in eight years the Canadians have finished as silver medallists at the world championship, along with four gold medals.
Shae Labbe (Calgary, Alta./Warner School, JWHL) and Samantha Cogan (Ottawa, Ont./Nepean, PWHL) netted the goals for Canada, which was outshot 41-18, including 35-7 in the final 40 minutes of regulation time.
The Canadians jumped out to the early lead, with Labbe taking a pass from Élizabeth Giguère (Quebec City, Que./Limoilou, CEGEP) and beating American goaltender Kaitlin Burt on a breakaway just 3:14 in.
Canada held the edge in the first period, but the U.S. pulled even with only 33 seconds left in the opening frame, with American captain Jincy Dunne roofing a backhand over Boissonnault.
The U.S. took its first lead at the five-minute mark of the second period off the stick of Alyssa Gorecki, and the Americans pounded Boissonnault with shots in the middle stanza, outshooting Canada 20-2.
But Cogan made one of those two shots count, driving hard to the net and beating Burt to tie the game at 8:23.
The Canadian penalty-killing unit stepped into the spotlight in the third period, killing off four American power plays in the final 20 minutes, and Boissonnault stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third to get the game to an extra period.
Unfortunately for the Canadians, Dunne needed just 51 seconds of overtime to convert on an American man advantage, giving the U.S. its fourth world title, and first since 2011.
Canadian forward Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B,C,/Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA) earned a pair of end-of-tournament awards; Potomak, who led the tournament in scoring with nine points (five goals, four assists), was named Top Forward by the IIHF Directorate, and Most Valuable Player by the media.
Potomak and Canadian captain Micah Hart (Saanichton, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL) both earned spots on the media all-star team.