CANADA PULLS AWAY IN THIRD, ADVANCES TO FINAL AT U18 WOMEN’S WORLDS
ZLIN, Czech Republic – Sophie Shirley (Saskatoon, Sask./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) and Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) led the offence with two goals apiece, helping Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team to a 6-2 win over Sweden in semifinal action Friday at the 2017 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
The Canadians will go in search of their fifth world title when they face off against the United States in the gold medal game on Saturday (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT).
Brooke Hobson (Prince Albert, Sask./Prince Albert, SFMAAAHL) and Maegan Beres (North Vancouver, B.C./North American Hockey Academy, JWHL) had the other goals for Canada, which allowed the Swedes to get within one goal after two periods before scoring three times in the final frame.
After the Canadians killed an early power play, they went to work on the man advantage; the puck was worked around to Hobson, whose slap shot from the point made its way through traffic and past Swedish goaltender Sofia Reideborn for the 1-0 goal at 4:11.
That would be it for scoring in the first period, although the Swedes enjoyed a five-minute man advantage after Canadian forward Amy Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pacific, JWHL) was given a charging major and game misconduct.
Fillier doubled the lead just past the six-minute mark of the second period, rushing into the Swedish zone and beating Reideborn with a quick wrist shot from the left wing, and Shirley added the eventual game-winner just over two minutes later, getting credit after a weird bounce behind the Swedish net found its way in.
But the Swedes chipped away, getting two goals back before the end of 40 minutes.
Josefin Bouveng scored the first, knocking a loose puck past Canadian netminder Édith D’Astous-Moreau (Laval, Que./Nepean, PWHL) after a rebound off the end-boards, and Paula Bergstrom made it a one-goal game at 17:01, beating D’Astous-Moreau with a wrist shot from the blue-line.
Momentum swung back to Canada once the puck dropped to begin the third period, with shots on goal favouring the Canadians 18-3 in the final 20 minutes.
Shirley added insurance at 5:58, tapping in a rebound on a Canadian power play for her second of the game.
Fillier added her second into an empty net with 3:20 to go before Shirley set up Beres to cap the scoring with just 52 seconds remaining, sealing Canada’s third win over Sweden in a span of eight days.
The Canadians have appeared in every gold medal game at U18 women’s worlds, claiming silver five times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016) in addition to their four gold (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014).