BURLINGTON, Vt. – Canada’s National Women’s Team has won the gold medal at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, defeating the United States 5-4 in overtime on Saturday, April 14 at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
It is the 10th time Canada has won the gold medal at the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2012), and its first since 2007 in Winnipeg, Man. Canada and the United States have met in all 14 world championship gold medal games since the tournament’s inception. Canada has also claimed four silver medals (2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011).
Saturday’s gold medal game went to overtime, with alternate captain Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) scoring less than two minutes into the extra frame on a pass out front from Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont/Montreal, CWHL).
Canadian captain Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunovan, Sask./University of Calgary, CIS) opened the scoring on a shorthanded breakaway at 7:52 in the first. After the U.S. tied it up later in the period, alternate captain Jayna Hefford (Kingston, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) regained the lead at 4:07 in the second and Ouellette added another a minute and a half later to make it 3-1. Following an American comeback that included three power-play goals, Agosta tied it 4-4 in the last three minutes of the game, sending it to overtime. Goaltender Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, ACAC) made 40 saves in the victory.
In preliminary action, Canada finished second in Pool A with a 2-1 record, suffering a 9-2 loss to the United States on Saturday, April 7, before defeating Finland 3-2 on Sunday, April 8 and Russia 14-1 on Tuesday, April 10. Canada defeated Finland 5-1 in semifinal action Friday, April 13.
Canada’s National Women’s Team includes 16 returnees from the Canadian contingent that claimed silver at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Winterthur and Zurich, Switzerland, last April and 13 players who won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. The 23-player roster is comprised of three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards.
Canada’s National Women’s Team was selected by Church (Toronto, Ont./York University, CIS), assistant coaches Doug Derraugh (Arnprior, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) and Danielle Goyette (St-Nazaire, Que./University of Calgary, CIS), along with Hockey Canada’s head scout of national women’s team programs Melody Davidson.