USA vs. Japan 11-1 (2-0, 5-0, 4-1)
CHICAGO – Two-time defending champion and hosts United States hammered Japan 11-1 to start a run for a third straight U18 women's title tonight. Brittany Ammerman and Kendall Coyne led the charge with three goals each. The U.S. limited Japan to just eight shots all game while firing 56 at Ai Tokoro.
The Japanese kept the score close for the first half period, but when Ammerman got her first fo the game at 11:57, the floodgates opened. The home side scored five unanswered goals in the second period, and Coyne got all three of her goals in a span of 6:51 in the third.
Moeko Fujimoto got the only Japanese goal to make it a 9-1 score midway through the final period, the only shot to elude Aubree Moore in the USA goal.
The Americans take on Finland on Sunday and the Japanese will take on the Czech Republic the same day.
Sweden vs. Germany 5-4 (3-2, 2-1, 0-1)
Sweden survived a scare from Germany in the late game at Bob Allen Arena in Chicago, winning 5-4 in a game that was tied, 3-3, by the midway point of the game. Lisa Hedengren had two goals for the Swedes. Manuela Anwander, who tied the game for Germany early in the second period, had two for the Germans.
The first period was a wide-open affair. Lisa Johansson put the Swedes ahead in the third minute and Hedengren made it 2-0 at 6:38 on the power play. The Germans refused to quit, and it was a 3-2 Sweden lead after the first period.
After Anwander tied the game, the Germans had two power-play chances to go ahead but were unable to beat Annika Ferngren in the Swedish goal. Two late goals put the Swedes in control, but Germany made it close in the third although they were unable to get the tying goal.
Germany will play the Canadians on Sunday and Sweden takes on Russia the same day.
Canada vs. Russia 6-3 (3-1, 1-1, 2-1)
Canada may have defeated Russia 6-3 in the first game of the U18 WWC for both teams, but goaltending at either end was the story in this surprisingly close game.
Brigette Lacquette had a goal and two assists for the Canadians, who got goals from six different players.
Russian goalie Anna Prugova, who doesn't turn 17 until November, faced 60 shots in the game and was heroic in net. The last time she played was just over a month ago in the Olympics in Vancouver. She played only 31 minutes against the Americans and allowed ten goals in a 13-0 loss. Today, among teenagers closer to her own age, she was the difference between a tight score and a rout.
At the other end, Canadian Erica Howe struggled, allowing three goals on just seven shots.
Seventeen-year-old captain Olga Sosina, another Russian who played at the Olympics last month, got the opening goal for the underdogs, but Canada scored three goals at even strength to lead 3-1 after 20 minutes. The Russians took six consecutive minor penalties in a 40-minute span, losing momentum and falling behind 4-1 at one point.
Canada will play Germany on Sunday and the Russians get Sweden earlier in the day.
Czech Republic vs. Finland 1-5 (1-0, 0-2, 0-3)
Salla Rantanen had a hat trick and Niina Makinen had three assists to lead Finland to a convincing 5-1 win over the Czech Republic in the first game of the U18 World Women’s Championship.
Jana Fialova got the only goal of the first period, on a power play, to give the Czechs a 1-0 lead despite being outplayed and badly outshot, 24-6. The last two periods were dominated by the Finns, however, as they peppered goalie Veronika Hladikova with 47 shots. Sussana Airaksanen stopped 18 of 19 shots for the winners.
Tanja Niskanen tied the game just 3:28 into the second period, and when Rantanen got her first halfway through, the Finns were well no their way.
The Czechs, who lost the bronze-medal game last year to Sweden, play next on Sunday against Japan while the Finns meet the defending champion Americans later that same evening.