CANADA TO PLAY FOR GOLD WITH WIN OVER FINNS
Bratislava, Slovakia – Jenna Buglioni (Port Moody, B.C./Greater Vancouver, BCFM AAA) had a goal and an assist, Ashley Messier (Wilcox, Sask./Selects Hockey Academy, USHS) added two helpers of her own and Canada is off to the gold medal game after topping Finland 4-1 in the semifinals on Wednesday at the 2020 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
Canada got all the scoring it would need with a trio of goals in the first period. Marianne Picard (Repentigny, Que./Stanstead College, NAPHA) got it started with the opening goal of the game. Walking through two Finnish defenders before tucking it in short side for the 1-0 lead.
Buglioni doubled the lead for Canada a minute later. Off a scramble in front of the net, Buglioni pounced on the loose puck and poked it past Finnish netminder Kiia Lahtinen.
Lindsay Bochna (Toronto, Ont./Etobicoke, PWHL) rounded out the scoring for Canada, scoring with 32 seconds left in the opening frame. Off a faceoff win by Buglioni, Bochna corralled the puck, walked in and snapped the puck in top shelf from in tight.
Finland had several chances to break through in the second, but Ève Gascon (Terrebonne, Que./ Collège Esther-Blondin/LHMAAAQ) was up to the challenge and turned away all seven shots she faced in the period, including a sprawling save midway through the frame with Finland on the power play. It was another strong showing for Gascon, who turned away 14 of 15 shots she faced for a .933 save percentage in the contest.
Finland got on the board early in the third with a goal from Nelli Laitinen. With Finland on the powerplay, Laitinen fired a shot from the point that found its way into the back of the net through a maze of bodies in front.
Kendall Cooper (Burlington, Ont./Stony Creek, PWHL) restored Canada’s three-goal lead under five minutes later, going end-to-end and firing home an absolute laser beam from the right faceoff circle.
Canada will go for gold for the second straight year on Thursday (2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT) when it takes on the winner of the semifinal matchup between the United States and Russia.