VIERUMÄKI, Finland – The puck is about to drop on the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Finland, with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team playing its opening game against Hungary at 10:30 a.m. ET/5:30 p.m. local time Friday, Dec. 28 at Vierumäki Arena. The tournament culminates with the gold medal game at 11:30 a.m. ET/6:30 p.m. local time Saturday, Jan. 5 at Heinola Arena.
In pre-tournament action Wednesday, Dec. 26 at Varuboden Arena in Kirkkonummi, just outside of Helsinki, the Canadians defeated Finnish boys’ team the C2 Pojat Blues 4-3 in a shootout.
Ashleigh Byrkaliuk (Brandon, Man./Westman, MFMHL) scored in the first period and notched the game-winner in the shootout, Hanna Bunton (Belleville, Ont./Whitby, PWHL) added one in the second and Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man./Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA) had a goal in the third in what was a fast-paced game with 500 fans watching from the stands. Jessica Dodds (London, Ont./London, PWHL) and Kimberly Newell (Burnaby, B.C./Princeton University, ECAC) split duties between the posts for Canada.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team head coach Jim Fetter (Waterloo, Ont./St. Cloud State University, WCHA), along with assistant coaches Rebecca Russell (Lethbridge, N.L./Okanagan Hockey Academy, Midget AAA) and Laura Schuler (Scarborough, Ont./University of Minnesota Duluth, WCHA), have named Kristyn Capizzano (Oakville, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL) captain, while Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL) and Krzyzaniak will serve as alternate captains at this year’s world championship.
Clark, Capizzano and Krzyzaniak, along with fellow returnees Brykaliuk and Catherine Dubois (Quebec City, Que./Limoilou, Collégial AA), all won a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Prerov and Zlin, Czech Republic.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team includes two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards. Seventeen players were also members of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series against the U.S. Women’s Under-18 Team in August in Blaine, Minn., winning two of those games. Dodds, Kristin Gilmour (Millgrove, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) and Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL) are making their Team Canada debuts.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, broken down by province:
Alberta – three (Taryn Baumgardt*, Eden Murray*, Karly Heffernan*)
British Columbia – three (Kimberly Newell*, Hannah Miller*, Alexa Ranahan*)
Manitoba – three (Ashleigh Brykaliuk*, Halli Krzyzaniak*, Cassidy Carels*)
Ontario – eight (Hanna Bunton*, Kristyn Capizzano*, Jessica Dodds, Kristin Gilmour, Corie Jacobson, Sydney McKibbon*, Alex Moore, Sarah Nurse)
Prince Edward Island – one (Sarah Steele*)
Quebec – three (Geneviève Bannon*, Catherine Daoust*, Catherine Dubois*)
Saskatchewan – one (Emily Clark*)
*played for Canada in a three-game series against the United States in August.
In preliminary round action at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, Canada also plays Finland at 10:30 a.m. ET/5:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, Dec. 30 at Heinola Arena and Germany at 8 a.m. ET/3 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at Vierumäki Arena. Quarter-finals are scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 2 and semifinals are set for Friday, Jan. 4, all at Heinola Arena.
Follow Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at www.Twitter.com/HC_Women; become a fan of Hockey Canada at www.Facebook.com/HockeyCanada; and for statistics, stories, post-game video interviews and much more from Finland, please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca/NWT.