CANADA TAKES SILVER AT U18 WOMEN’S WORLDS
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Jaime Bourbonnais (Mississauga, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) and Daryl Watts (Toronto, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) scored and Stephanie Neatby (Toronto, Ont./Toronto, PWHL) made 26 saves, but Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team fell 3-2 in overtime to the United States in the gold medal game at the 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
Natalie Snodgrass scored off a deflection at the side of the net to end things only 1:47 into extra time.
It was the fifth time in nine gold medal games– all played between Canada and the United States – that the winner was decided in overtime. Canada’s record is 2-3, and 4-5 overall in gold medal games.
This one was witnessed by 5,516 fans, both a new single-game attendance mark for the event and the Meridian Centre. In total, 34,523 spectators took in a game in person, nearly doubling the previous attendance mark set in the Czech Republic in 2012.
Penalties were Canada’s undoing four days earlier against the Americans, a 4-1 setback in the preliminary round. The penalty kill was tested early in the rematch, only 5:44 in, and allowed only one shot over the two minutes. (Canada would successfully kill off all four American power play opportunities in the game.)
Bourbonnais put Canada on the board first with 2:05 remaining in the first. A teammate’s initial shot was blocked, but the defenceman followed the play to the net and put the puck in from the doorstep.
Six minutes into the second Watts made it 2-0. After an American defender cleared the puck off her own player, sending it back toward the net, Watts pounced on the gift, rifling a shot high into the back of the net.
But with five minutes left in the middle period, the U.S. got one back when Alex Woken got a step on two defenders and beat Neatby low from the bottom of the face-off circle.
The equalizer came eight minutes into the third. Neatby made the initial save on Snodgrass at the side of the net, but the American followed the play behind the net, her wraparound seemingly deflected in.
Lindsay Agnew (Oakville, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL), Kristin O’Neill (Oakville, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL) and Bourbonnais were named Canada’s top three players of the tournament. Ashton Bell (Deloraine, Man./Westman, MFMHL) was named to the media’s all-star team.