CHAMBÉRY, France – One year after the inaugural World Women’s U18 Championship, the first Division I tournament was played in Chambéry, France. France and Japan faced-off for the title, which Japan won, 2-0.
After a scoreless first period, the Japanese dominated the middle stanza with a 22-3 shots advantage in front of 1,158 spectators. At 31:17, Fuka Ishiura scored the first goal for the Japanese.
The French came back and started the last period with three power-play opportunities but it was Moeko Fujimoto, who extended the lead to 2-0 at 50:19. Mai Kondo celebrated the shutout with 23 saves while French goalie Caroline Baldin turned away 46 of 48 shots.
Japan became the first-ever team to be promoted the top division of the World Women’s U18 Championship.
Japan started the tournament with a 3-1 win over Austria and had little resistance against Slovakia (6-1) and Norway (7-3). It came to a deciding game against France which was also undefeated.
Baldin was named the best goalkeeper while Nachi Fujimoto was selected best defender and Chiho Osawa of Japan as best forward.
Slovakia won the bronze medal, Austria finished in fourth place, Norway was last without a point.
This year’s top division tournament begins on Monday in Füssen, Germany.