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U18 Women GOLDEN in Bratislava

By USA Hockey, 01/02/20, 3:15PM EST


Zanon Scores Game-Winner Late in OT

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia Kiara Zanon (Fairport, N.Y.) scored with 3:08 left in overtime to lift the U.S. Under-18  Women’s National Team to a 2-1 victory over Canada here tonight in the gold-medal game of the 2020 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship. Skylar Vetter (Lakeville, Minn.), who was named the U.S. Player of the Game, made 31 saves.

"It was yet another great American-Canadian battle on ice," said head coach Maura Crowell (Mansfield, Mass.).  "It's an amazing journey to get to this game, and then to win it is a whole other story. I'm so happy for them. It's been a lifelong dream for all of those girls and to see their smiles after the game, that's all we're doing this for." 

Zanon teamed with captain Maggie Nicholson (Minnetonka, Minn.) to force a turnover at the defensive blueline and the two went up the ice on a game-winning 2-on-0 break with Nicholson making a nifty backhand pass across the top of the goal mouth to Zanon, who put home the golden goal.

The U.S. has now finished at the top of the podium in five of the last six IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships.

Team USA got the only goal of the opening stanza with 5:22 left and it came on the power play. Defender Haley Winn (Rochester, N.Y.) made a nice play to hold the puck in at the left point on a Canada clearing attempt and a short time later Abbey Murphy (Evergreen Park, Ill.) found the puck on her stick from between the circles and wristed one home past Canadian netminder Eve Gascon on the short side.

The last minute of the first period was action filled and included a save on Murphy from the slot and a second stop after Murphy followed her shot and had another chance at the goal-mouth; a shorthanded chance by Canada’s Jenna Buglioni with :25 left that Vetter saved; and a goal-mouth scramble at the buzzer that nearly resulted in a second Team USA goal.

Both teams had chances in a scoreless second period, with the U.S. outshooting Canada 10-7. Vetter made back-to-back toe saves at the side of the net midway through stanza, first on Marianne Picard and then on Maya Labad.

Canada tied the game just seconds before their power play was expiring when Ann-Frederik Naud found Sarah Paul alone in front at 5:38 of the third period. Makenna Webster (St. Louis, Mo.) had a good chance from the bottom of the right circle midway through the stanza, but didn’t convert and Vetter made a glove save on Picard from between the circles with 7:50 left. Murphy looked to have a golden chance alone in front with just more than 4:00 left, but a  Canadian defender deflected her chance at the last moment. Canada spent most of the final three minutes of regulation on the power play, but the U.S. held strong.

The 3-on-3 overtime period started with 1:20 carryover of a U.S. penalty from the third period, so Canada had a 4-on-3 advantage, which the U.S. successfully killed. Winn nearly won the game 7:30 into the extra session, but her shot rang off the far post from the right circle. The puck caromed to Canada’s Buglioni who broke up the ice alone, but Winn raced back and forced a shot over the net. 

NOTES: Skylar Vetter was named the U.S. Player of the Game … The gold-medal game of the IIHF Women’s World Championship was decided in overtime for the sixth time this year and the second straight year … Team USA had 34-32 shots-on-goal advantage ... The U.S.  finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while Canada was 1-for-6 ... The IIHF format for overtime is one sudden victory 20-minute period played 3-on-3.



2020 U.S. Tournament Schedule

Date Opponent Time (Local/ET)/Result Venue/Location Stream/U.S. Player of the Game Game Stats
Thurs., Dec. 26 Finland
W, 4-1 Ice Rink Vlado Dzurilla
Bratislava, Slovakia
Kiara Zanon Stats
Fri., Dec. 27 Russia
W, 1-0 Ice Rink Vlado Dzurilla
Bratislava, Slovakia
Ella Huber Stats
Sun., Dec. 29 Canada
L, 1-2 Ice Rink Vlado Dzurilla
Bratislava, Slovakia
Makenna Webster Stats
Wed., Jan. 1 Russia
W, 3-0 Ice Rink Vlado Dzurilla
Bratislava, Slovakia
Lacey Eden Stats
Thu., Jan. 2 Canada
Gold-Medal Game
W, 2-1 (OT) Ice Rink Vlado Dzurilla
Bratislava, Slovakia
Skylar Vetter Stats

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