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U.S. Takes Gold at 2018 IIHF U18 Women's World Championship

By, 01/13/18, 11:30AM EST


Team USA Tops Sweden, 9-3, for record fourth-straight gold medal in event

DMITROV, Russia --  Four players recorded two goals apiece as the U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team defeated Sweden, 9-3, to claim the gold medal at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women's World Championship here tonight at the Ice Palace.

“I'm really proud of the way we played tonight,” said Joel Johnson, head coach of the 2018 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team. “It's always special to throw your gloves off and celebrate together as a family. I'm very excited for this group to have a moment they will cherish forever."

The win gives the United States an unprecedented fourth-straight gold medal at the IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship and marks its seventh title in the event’s 11-year history. The United States also claimed gold in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Sweden took a 1-0 lead just 1:35 into the contest when Thea Johannson deflected a shot past Lindsay Reed (New Vernon, N.J.). 

Team USA responded 4:39 later after Casey O’Brien (Milton, Mass.) skated down the right wing and fed a centering pass for Katy Knoll (Amherst, N.Y.) who beat goaltender Anna Amholt with a low shot. 

O’Brien then put the U.S. ahead, 2-1, near the midway point of the period by finishing a cross-crease pass from Abbey Murphy (Evergreen Park, Ill.) after a turnover in the Swedish zone.

With 35 seconds remaining in the game’s opening stanza, Britta Curl (Bismarck, N.D.) buried a centering pass from Dominique Petrie (Beverly Hills, Calif.) to make it, 3-1, in favor of the U.S. entering the first intermission. 

In the second period, the United States took control of the game with five goals in the first 5:38 of the frame. Petrie started the barrage with a shot from the slot 33 seconds into the period before Murphy netted a breakaway goal 54 seconds later. 

At 3:36 of the frame, Curl buried a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot on the power play for her second goal of the night. Petrie then redirected a feed from Taylor Heise (Lake City, Minn.) just 39 seconds later before Murphy converted a second breakaway attempt at the 5:38 mark into the stanza to make it 8-1.

With 4:29 remaining in the middle stanza, Knoll scored her second goal of the game to give the U.S. a 9-1 lead entering the final 20 minutes of play. 

In the third frame, Sweden notched two power-play goals to account for the 9-3 final.

NOTES: Dominique Petrie (Beverly Hills, Calif.) was named U.S. Player of the Game ... Two of the three Directorate Awards were given to United States players, as Gracie Ostertag (Shakopee, Minn.) was named Best Defenseman and Taylor Heise (Lake City, Minn.) was named Best Forward ... In addition, Heise and Makenna Webster (St. Louis, Mo.) were selected to the Tournament Media All-Star Team while Heise was also named Tournament MVP ...  Britta Curl (Bismarck, N.D.), Heise and Webster were named the Top 3 U.S. Players of the Tournament … Team USA outshot Sweden, 36-9, and went 3-for-4 on the power play. For full game statistics, click here … Team USA, which has reached the gold-medal game in all 11 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championships, holds an all-time record of 45-5-3-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in 55 games at the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship ... Reagan Carey (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey’s director of women’s hockey, is the general manager of the 2018 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team … Joining Johnson as an associate coach is Maura Crowell (Mansfield, Mass.), head women's ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth, while Courtney Kennedy (Woburn, Mass.), associate head women's ice hockey coach at Boston College, is serving as an assistant coach … USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. teams that compete internationally.

Game Highlights

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U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent Location Result U.S. Player of the Game
Sat., Jan. 6 Sweden
Preliminary Round
Ice Palace
Dmitrov, Russia
W (OT), 2-1 Makenna Webster
Sun., Jan. 7 Russia
Preliminary Round
Ice Palace
Dmitrov, Russia
W, 5-3 Britta Curl
Tues., Jan. 9 Canada
Preliminary Round
Ice Palace
Dmitrov, Russia
W, 6-2 Taylor Heise
Fri., Jan. 12 Canada
Ice Palace
Dmitrov, Russia
W (SO), 4-3 Casey O'Brien
Sat., Jan. 13 Sweden
Gold-Medal Game
Ice Palace
Dmitrov, Russia
W, 9-3 Dominique Petrie

2018 U18 Women's Worlds News