CANADA DOWNED BY U.S. IN U18 SHOOTOUT
JASON LA ROSE
DMITROV, Russia – Lexie Adzija (St. Thomas, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) had a goal and an assist in regulation time, but Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team fell short in a 4-3 shootout loss to the United States in the semifinals Friday at the 2018 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
The Canadians will play for the bronze medal on Saturday (7:30 a.m. ET/4:30 a.m. PT) against the loser of the Russia-Sweden semi.
A strong second period gave Canada a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes, but penalty trouble doomed the Canadians in the third and allowed the Americans to tie the game and force extra time.
After Maggie Connors (St. John’s, N.L./Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS) converted on the first Canadian attempt in the shootout, faking to the forehand before roofing a backhand, Britta Curl answered for the U.S. in Round 2 and Makenna Webster got the winner on the fourth American shot.
The Canadians came out with momentum, getting the first five shots of the game, and had the best chance early when Julia Gosling (London, Ont./London, PWHL) danced around a U.S. defenceman before ringing her shot off the crossbar.
The play headed the other way after the close call, and Taylor Heise got her stick on a Gracie Ostertag shot to give the Americans the 1-0 lead at 8:33.
Canada got even with less than five minutes to go in the opening frame when Zoe Boyd (Caledon, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) got her point shot through traffic and past U.S. goaltender Lindsay Reed to send the game to the intermission tied 1-1.
The Canadians took their first lead when Adzija redirected a shot from Alexie Guay (Magog, Que./Stanstead College, NAPHA) past Reed to make it 2-1 on the power play at 13:29 of the second period, and Emily Rickwood (Brantford, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) finished a pretty passing play with Adzija and captain Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) to push the advantage to two just over three minutes later.
The U.S. comeback started early in the third period with a power-play goal by Casey O’Brien at 5:22, before Kelly Browne knocked a rebound past Canadian netminder Madelyn McArthur (St. Catharines, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) at 9:36 to equalize for the Americans.
McArthur was the story in overtime, making 10 saves to ensure the game got to the shootout.
After Connors scored, Fillier, Claire Dalton (Toronto, Ont./Toronto, PWHL) and Adzija were denied before Audrey-Anne Veillette (Drummondville, Que./Stanstead College, NAPHA) went high with the final Canadian attempt.