ÖSTERSUND, Sweden – Behind a five-point (3G, 2A) performance from forward Maggie Scannell (Wynanskill, N.Y.), the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team topped Finland, 8-1, in the second game of preliminary-round action at the 2023 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship.
“I thought we played a pretty thorough game as it went on,” Katie Lachapelle (Lewiston, Maine), head coach of the 2023 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team said. “I thought our first period was okay, the second period we got in to a lull, but the third period we answered back and were playing really well.”
The U.S. opened the scoring 2:56 into the game when Maggie Scannell (Wynantskill, N.Y.) roofed a rebound glove side right outside the crease to give the U.S. an early 1-0 lead. Despite the early tally, the game remained a tight back-and-forth contest through the first, with both teams getting shots on net.
Samantha Taber (Tewksbury, Mass.) doubled the U.S. lead with a little over five minutes left in the period, taking a Joy Dunne (O’Fallon, Mo.) outlet pass through the neutral zone and splitting Finland’s defense up the middle, before roofing a backhand shot over Suvi Saarninen’s shoulder to give Team USA the 2-0 lead.
Early in the second, Finland’s offensive pressure resulted in a goal when Neea Pelkonen snuck a close-range shot past U.S. netminder Layla Hemp (Chanhassen, Minn.) to cut the lead down to 2-1.
Scannell completed the hat trick with two goals in 37 seconds to extend the U.S. lead to 3-1. The first of her back-to-back scores came from nearly the exact same spot as her first goal of the game, from the left slot, shooting a short-range rebound through the goaltenders five hole. On the same shift, Scannell added another to open a 4-1 lead for Team USA.
The U.S. kept the momentum going as Dunne posted Team USA’s fifth goal of the game and third of the period with just under 10 minutes remaining in the frame. Dunne laced a rebound left sitting at the top of a crease from a Scannell shot through Finland’s goalie to find the back of the net.
In the third, Gabby Kim (Los Angeles, Calif.) tallied her first of the tournament, sliding a rebound behind Saarninen from the edge of the left faceoff circle as the U.S. took a 6-1 lead into the final 10 minutes of the game.
Team USA wraps up preliminary-round play on Wed. (Jan. 11) against Canada. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. ET and can be viewed live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Maggie Scannell (Wynantskill, N.Y.) was named U.S. Player of the Game… The U.S. outshot Finland, 27-13… Team USA was 3-4 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill.