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U.S. Shines at 2020 IIHF U18 Women's Worlds

By USA Hockey, 01/13/20, 1:30PM EST

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USA medal streak continues; Eden named to Media All-Star Team

The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team closed out the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia, in winning fashion, capturing its eighth gold medal in the tournament. The victory, a thrilling 2-1 overtime win against Canada, gave the United States its fifth title in the last six years and extended its unprecedented medal streak to 13 straight tournaments.

GOLD-MEDAL GAME HIGHLIGHTS

The tournament opened on Thurs., Dec. 26, with Team USA earning a 4-1 win over Finland, with goals courtesy of Rory Guilday (Chanhassen, Minn.), Abbey Murphy (Evergreen Park, Ill.), Audrey Wethington (Edina, Minn.) and Clara Van Wieren (Okemos, Mich.).

The next day, the U.S. topped Russia, 1-0, with Ella Huber (Northfield, Ill.) scoring the go-ahead goal in the waning moments of regulation to secure the win.

Team USA closed the preliminary round on Dec. 29 with a close 2-1 loss to rival Canada, finishing group play with six points (2-0-0-1) to earn a bye to the semifinal round where the team would face Russia once again.

On New Year’s Day, the U.S. and Russia squared off in the semifinals of the event for just the second time in tournament history. Lyndie Lobdell (Aurora, Ill.) got the ball rolling early, tallying what would be the game-winner 7:16 in the first period. Lacey Eden (Annapolis, Md.) added to Team USA’s lead less than three minutes later before Emma Gentry (Alpena, Mich.) rounded out the scoring in the middle frame to secure a 3-0 win and a title game berth.

The U.S. faced Canada in the gold-medal game for the 12th time in event history, with Team USA holding a 6-5 advantage entering the contest. With 5:22 remaining in the first period, Murphy scored her 10th career goal at the tournament to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. The U.S. outshot Canada most of regulation, but Canada tied the game in the final frame to force overtime. After several quality scoring chances, Kiara Zanon (Fairport, N.Y.) and captain Maggie Nicholson (Minnetonka, Minn.) forced a turnover at the defensive blueline and beat Canadian goaltender Eve Gaston on a 2-on-0 breakaway to put home the golden goal.

TEAM USA STAT LEADERS

Eden led the U.S. in scoring with five points (2G-3A), which included a multi-point effort in Team USA’s 4-1 win over Finland and an assist on the game-winning goal the 1-0 win over Russia. Eden also paced U.S. Skaters in plus/minus with a +5 rating, while Caroline Harvey (Pelham, N.H.) and Zanon each registered +4 ratings. Murphy led the U.S. in shots on goal with 29, while Makenna Webster (St. Louis, Mo.) recorded 21 shots. The U.S. ranked second in power-play scoring with three power-play tallies, two of which came from Murphy for the team lead. U.S. goaltending was stellar throughout the tournament as netminders Amanda Thiele (Milford, Mich.) and Skylar Vetter (Lakeville, Minn.) combined for a tournament-best .965 save percentage and 0.76 goals against average.

TOP THREE U.S. PLAYERS

Eden was selected to the tournament's Media All-Star Team, and was joined by Harvey and Zanon in being named the Top Three U.S. Players of the tournament. The trio combined for three goals and eight points at the event. 

THREE-PEAT

Murphy, Nicholson and Webster competed in their third consecutive Under-18 Women’s World Championship at this year’s tournament. Before taking home gold Jan. 2, the trio won gold in 2018 in Dmitrov, Russia and silver at the 2019 event in Obihiro, Japan.

UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS

With the gold medal, the U.S. extended its unprecedented medal streak to 13 straight tournaments, dating back to the event’s inception in 2008. The U.S. has now emerged victorious seven of the 12 times they have faced Canada in the gold-medal game. Find a full listing of event history here

THE ROAD TO GOLD

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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
Preliminary
W, 4-1 Ice Rink Vlado Dzurilla
Bratislava, Slovakia
Kiara Zanon Stats
Fri., Dec. 27 Russia
Preliminary
W, 1-0 Ice Rink Vlado Dzurilla
Bratislava, Slovakia
Ella Huber Stats
Sun., Dec. 29 Canada
Preliminary
L, 1-2 Ice Rink Vlado Dzurilla
Bratislava, Slovakia
Makenna Webster Stats
Wed., Jan. 1 Russia
Semifinals
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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