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. Full game story and stats are available at HockeyCanada.ca.
“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.”
The Canadian team has won gold four times (2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014), silver six times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2017), and bronze once (2018) since the event’s inception in 2008.