ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — The U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team used three power play goals and 33 saves from netminder Alex Gulstene (Evanston, Ill./Okanagan Hockey Academy) on the way to a 4-1 win over Canada here before a sellout crowd in the final preliminary round game for both teams at 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship.
"We came out strong right from the opening faceoff,” said Joel Johnson, head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team. “I was really pleased with our overall effort and everyone contributed in a solid team win. We're happy to be undefeated in the preliminary round and we'll enjoy this but we'll quickly turn our focus to the semifinal game."
The U.S. capitalized on two of three power-play opportunities in the opening period. Sydney Brodt (North Oaks, Minn./Mounds View High School) scored the game’s first goal at 5:52 of the first period when she poked a loose puck into the net following a Madeline Wethington (Edina, Minn./Blake High School) shot from the point.
Rebecca Gilmore (Wayland, Mass./East Coast Wizards) added Team USA’s second power-play goal less than four minutes later when her one-time shot from the slot beat Canadian goaltender Stephanie Neatby.
The U.S. scored its third power-play goal of the game at 6:06 of the second period when Natalie Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn./Eastview High School) slammed home a backdoor pass from Taylor Wente (Plymouth, Minn./Maple Grove High School) to give Team USA a 3-0 lead.
Gulstene made several key saves late in the second period with Team USA on the penalty kill, none better than a right-pad save following a scramble in front of the U.S. goal crease.
At 16:24 on the third period, Canada cut the U.S. lead to 3-1 on a rebound goal from Julia Edgar. Just over two minutes later, Gilmore scored her second goal of the game into an empty net to account for the 4-1 final.
The U.S. finished the preliminary round in first place in Group A with a 3-0 record to advance directly to the semifinal round on Thursday (Jan. 14).
NOTES: Rebecca Gilmore was named the U.S. Player of the Game …Team USA was 3-of-5 on the power play. For complete game statistics, click here … Team USA has outscored its opponent, 16-1, at this year’s tournament … The U.S. is defending its gold-medal finish at last year’s IIHF Women’s U18 World Championship. The U.S. has played in the gold medal game in all eight of the previous events, capturing the event’s top prize four times (2008. 2009, 2011, 2015) … Live streaming of the tournament is provided by FASTHockey.com … For more information on the 2016 U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team, including a full roster, click here.
|DATE||OPPONENT||RESULT||U.S. PLAYER OF THE GAME|
|Fri., Jan. 8||Czech Republic||W, 6-0||Grace Zumwinkle|
|Sat., Jan. 9||Russia||W, 6-0||Alex Woken|
|Mon., Jan. 11||Canada||W, 4-1||Rebecca Gilmore|
|Thurs., Jan. 14||Sweden (Semifinal)||W, 4-0||Natalie Heising|
|Fri., Jan. 15||Canada (Gold Medal Game)||W, 3-2 OT||Natalie Snodgrass|