DMITROV, RUS – Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team overcame the lows of a slow start to rebound with three strong games to close the 2018 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship with a bronze medal.
The Canadians faced the host Russian team in the bronze-medal game following a 4-3 shootout loss to the United States in Friday’s semifinal. Russia had previously edged Canada 3-2 in the tournament-opener; the Canadians went on to defeat Sweden before falling to the United States in preliminary-round action, putting the red-and-white in a position of playing in the quarter-final, where the team defeated the Czech Republic 3-1.
Canada’s performances improved with every game, and the team held a 3-1 lead against the U.S. in Friday’s semifinal until it was forced to rely on its penalty-kill for much of the third period and overtime, creating an opportunity for the United States to push the game to a shootout.
Similarly, Saturday’s bronze-medal game saw dominant play from the Canadians, who scored all five goals – including three on the power play and one short-handed – before Russia was able to get one past Madelyn McArthur (St. Catharines, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) at the 9:01 mark of the third period.
“This week speaks to the growth of women’s hockey,” said Delaney Collins, head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, of the history-making results by teams like Russia as well as Sweden, who finished with silver following a loss to the United States in the gold-medal game. “This event was first-class, the fans were fantastic and proud – we can’t say enough about the entire event. We’re happy we won today, but we also want to congratulate the Russian team on a phenomenal tournament, and on the development of their program to show that they’re a top team in the world.”
Alexie Guay (Magog, Que./Stanstead College, NAPHA) notched one goal and two assists for three points in the game and a total seven points in the tournament, launching her past captain Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) who had previously been Canada’s top point-getter of the tournament. Guay was named a Media All Star defenceman for the event. Julia Gosling (London, Ont./London, PWHL), Audrey-Anne Veillette (Drummondville, Que./Stanstead College, NAPHA), Abygail Moloughney (Nepean, Ont./Nepean, PWHL), and Courtney Vorster (Richmond, B.C./Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS) all potted one goal each.
“We really stuck together. We faced a lot of adversity throughout the tournament, but it was a great experience playing in front of the crowd and being here in Dmitrov,” said Fillier following the bronze-medal presentations. “We didn’t get the colour of medal that we wanted, but it was a really great experience with our group of girls.”