Bratislava, Slovakia – Charli Kettyle (Perth, Ont./Nepean, PWHL) scored the game winner 6:53 into the third as part of a three-goal period as Canada topped Finland 4-1 on Friday at the 2020 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
Canada got scoring up and down the line up in this one with eight different skaters hitting the scoresheet.
Lindsay Bochna (Toronto, Ont./Etobicoke, PWHL) opened the scoring for Canada early in the first. With Canada controlling play in the Finnish zone, Jenna Buglioni (Port Moody, B.C./Greater Vancouver, BCFMAAA) fought off two Finnish skaters to tip a pass to Bochna, who sniped it in bar down from the left faceoff circle.
It looked like Canada would take the 1-0 lead into the second intermission, but a late power play goal from Finland tied the game at 1-1. The goal came from Nelli Laitinen, a slapshot from the point that found the back of the net through a maze of bodies in front.
Both teams had chances to take the lead in the middle stanza, but went into the second intermission still locked at one apiece.
Canada broke it open in the third, scoring three goals in under 10 minutes to put the game away. Kettyle was first with what would turn out to be the game winning goal 6:53 into the frame. Off a scramble in front of the net, Kettyle corralled the puck and wired it home for the 2-1 lead.
Maddi Wheeler (Erinsville, Ont./Kingston, PWHL) got the insurance tally for Canada, a sharp angle shot that she flipped up and over the shoulder of Aino Laitinen in the Finnish net. Émilie Lussier (Sainte-Martine, Que./Lac St-Louis, LEHQ) finished off the scoring, tapping in an empty net goal off a pass from Sarah Wozniewwicz (Cochrane, Alta./Edge School, CSSHL) after Finland pulled its goalie with 6:24 left in the game.
“It was the best feeling ever. When I saw it go in, I jumped up. I honestly couldn’t believe it, I was just speechless. The puck came up between Coops (Kendall Cooper) and I, and I got it, got over onto the right side and noticed the gap, and went for it. I’ve never experienced anything like this team in my life, and it’s something that you never want to end.”
- Kettyle on scoring her first international goal
“I think we started really strong. We let up a bit in the second which gave them some momentum, but I think in the third we rallied off our penalty kills and we used our speed. Finland is pretty smart with the puck, so it was important for us to be in our positions and make sure we’re using the systems our coach set out for us. We came together; it was great energy on the bench, and we got a couple of goals and kept building off that.”
- Kendall Cooper (Burlington, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL) on playing smart
“I think we showed a lot of character, learned a lot through the game. It got better and better and by the third period we figured out what was going to work for us, and the team really came together by the end.”
- Assistant coach Tara Watchorn (Newcastle, Ont./Boston University,HE) on the team’s improvement as the game progressed
Canada will look to make it three in a row when it takes on the United States on Sunday (6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT)