DMITROV, Russia – Maggie Connors (St. John’s, N.L./Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS) and Audrey-Anne Veillette (Drummondville, Que./Stanstead College, NAPHA) scored goals, but Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team closed out the preliminary round at the 2018 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship with a 6-2 loss to the United States on Tuesday.
The defeat means the Canadians will play in a quarter-final on Wednesday. Who and when they play to open the medal round will be decided once the prelim schedule concludes later Tuesday.
Canada fell into an early 1-0 hole when Dominique Petrie stuffed a loose puck past goaltender Kendra Woodland (Kamloops, B.C./Thompson, OMAHA) just shy of the eight-minute mark, but Connors finished a tic-tac-toe passing play with Lexie Adzija (St. Thomas, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) and Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) to tie the game at 11:44.
A slow start to the second period sunk the Canadians; the U.S. struck for three goals in six minutes to open a big lead they would not relinquish.
Casey O’Brien gave the Americans back the lead only 82 seconds into the second period, tapping in a feed at the top of the crease, before Allyson Simpson banked the 3-1 goal off a Canadian skate and past Woodland.
Taylor Heise swept in a rebound at 7:29 to make it a three-goal lead and chase Woodland, who was replaced by Madelyn McArthur (St. Catharines, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) after allowing four goals on 20 shots.
Heise added her second of the period with less than two minutes to go, capitalizing on an odd-man rush to put the Canadians down four after 40 minutes.
The teams traded goals in the third period; Abigail Murphy scored the sixth American marker with 6:32 left, driving to the net and beating McArthur on the backhand, before Veillette tucked in a wraparound on the power play in the final minutes.
“We had a good first period, we had a good start to the game. I thought our penalty-kill was great this afternoon. There’s a lot that we need to improve upon, there’s no secrets there. We’re not happy with a 6-2 loss to our rivals, but you could see that they took advantage of the chances they had, and we need to fine-tune if we want to move forward in this tournament with success.
“We need to take advantage of the opportunity [to play in the quarter-final and get more game time] and look at it as [an opportunity]. There could be a lot of good that could come from it. Our team is really just optimistic and excited about tomorrow, and we’re going to play hard.”
Team Canada head coach and Canada’s National Women’s Team alumna Delaney Collins on the positive takeaways for the team from the game against the U.S., and how Canada is approaching Wednesday’s quarter-final game