ÖSTERSUND, Sweden – Nine different players tallied points, as Annelies Bergmann (Detroit, Mich.) made 23 saves to lift the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team to a 5-0 shutout win over Finland to claim Bronze at the 2023 Under-18 Women’s World Championship.
“We really had a great start. We were ready to go today,” Katie Lachapelle (Lewiston, Maine), 2023 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team head coach said. “We were getting pucks deep and getting good rushes when we could. I’m really proud of the way they played today and bounced back.”
The U.S. came out buzzing in the first, outshooting Finland 16-3 in the period, but the first score of the game came with just 2:55 remaining in the period. After receiving a pass up the boards at the left point, Elly Klepinger (Corcoran, Minn.) flicked a wrist shot that careened wide, but Joy Dunne (O’Fallon, Mo.) was waiting on the opposite post, putting the puck into a wide-open net.
Samantha Taber (Tewksbury, Mass.) added a second to the U.S. tally with 5:30 to play in the middle frame, picking up a saucer pass from Maggie Scannell (Wynantskill, N.Y.), carrying the puck into the zone and beating Finnish netminder Kerttu Kuja-Halkola five-hole on the doorstep.
Kendra Distad (Burnsville. Minn.) made things 3-0 just under three minutes later, sending home a sneaky feed from Lindzi Avar (Chanhassen, Minn.) from the low slot.
Allie Lalonde (Irvine, Calif.) was next to score, connecting with Ava Lindsay (Minnetonka, Minn.) in the neutral zone and firing a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle far side past Kuja-Halkola just past the halfway point of the third.
With 3:49 to play, Finland pulled their netminder and Bella Fanale (Webster, N.Y.) sent home an empty-netter just under one minute later to round out scoring. Dunne and Klepinger picked up assists.
NOTES: Ava Lindsay (Minnetonka, Minn.) was named U.S. player of the game… Team USA outshot Finland 40-23… Team USA was 0-2 on the power play and 1-1 on the penalty kill.