MADISON, Wis. – Behind four points (2G, 2A) from Tessa Janecke (Orangeville, Ill.), two goals from Laila Edwards (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) and an 11-save shutout from Ava McNaughton (Seven Fields, Pa.), the U.S. topped Finland 5-0 in the second preliminary-round game of the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship here tonight at LaBahn Arena.
“I thought we came out pretty hard at the start of the game,” head coach Katie Lachapelle (Lewiston, Maine) said. “It was the same as last night. The team also really answered to get going in the third period too. I love the energy that we’re playing with. We’re pretty happy with how we finished that game.”
For the second straight game, Edwards opened the scoring for Team USA. While on the power play, Edwards cleaned up a rebound from the doorstep 6:48 into the game off a point shot from Sydney Morrow (South Lyon, Mich.).
Janecke extended the lead to 2-0 at 13:42 in the first. After winning a puck battle along the boards, Janecke cut to the net and roofed a backhand flick from just above the goal line. Team USA corralled the momentum and kept the offensive pressure up through the remainder of the period, ultimately outshooting Finland 17-5 in the first 20 minutes.
Three minutes into the second, Finland found itself with a four-on-one opportunity off a U.S. turnover, but the Finnish forward fanned on the shot and Molly Jordan (Berlin, Conn.) poked the puck to the corner of the ice to eliminate the chance. On the next possession for the Finns, Edwards blocked a shot from the point to keep the score at 2-0.
The U.S. maintained extensive offensive pressure throughout the middle period, but could not find the back of the net to extend its lead.
With just under five minutes to play in the third, the U.S. extended the lead to 3-0. Finley McCarthy (Whitefish, Mont.) forced a turnover below the offensive goal line, skated behind the net and came out the other side to the bottom of the circle before spinning and beating the Finnish goalie on the short-side.
Janecke found the back of the net for the second time of the game to make it 4-0 with 2:54 to play. From the corner, Morrow found Janecke in the slot with a nifty pass and she one-timed it home for a 4-0 lead. Off the ensuing faceoff, Edwards made it 5-0 on a rush up the ice. She skated past the Finnish defender and ripped one to the back of the net for her second tally of the night.
Team USA wraps up preliminary-round play on Thursday against Canada. Puck drop is slated for 8 p.m. CT (live on ESPN+). The game will also be available on next-day delay (June 10) at 12 p.m. ET on NHL Network.
NOTES: Laila Edwards (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) was named the U.S. Player of the Game player with two goals… Team USA outshot Finland 47-11 … The. U.S. was 2-3 on the power play, while Finland was 0-1 ... Ava McNaughton (Seven Fields, Pa.) made 11 saves to earn the shutout victory.