United States – Czech Republic 18-0 (8-0, 6-0, 4-0)
FUSSEN, Germany – The United States will get a chance to defend its gold medal at the World Women U18 Championship after a skating to a hefty 18-0 victory against the Czech Republic in the semi-final. It was the most lopsided score in the two-year history of the Women’s U18 event.
Both medal games are a rematch from last year as the Americans and Canadians will face-off for gold, while the Czechs and Swedes will skate for bronze.
From the first puck drop it was clear that the Americans were leaving nothing to chance as they camped out in the Czech zone. When the dust had settled at the end of the first period, the U.S. held a huge 8-0 lead. Kendall Coyne had two goals in the period.
The Czechs, who were a surprise entry in the semi-finals after Switzerland upset Finland in the preliminary round, continued to struggle in the second period. Brianna Decker opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal and Coyne completed her hat trick to put the U.S. into double digits. Madison Packer put in a pair of goals in the second half of the period, one coming before the Czechs swapped goaltender Monika Pencikova for Karolina Simunkova, and the other goal coming after switch. By the end of 40 minutes, the score stood at 14-0.
But the U.S. wasn’t finished, as they added three more goals in the first three minutes of the third period. Packer completed her hat trick in the flurry. Alev Kalter became the third U.S. player to score three goals with 5:16 left in the game. The goal closed the scoring, bringing the final to 18-0.
Canada – Sweden 6-1 (0-0, 3-1, 3-0)
FUSSEN, Germany – Canada earned a place in the World Women's U18 gold medal game after defeating Sweden, 6-1. Melody Daoust had four points in the win, including a hat trick, sending Canada to the gold medal game for the second straight year.
The first period was relatively even, with the exception of the final three minutes when Canada swarmed in front of the Swedish net, testing goaltender Josephin Lennstrom. Lennstrom came up with a few big saves, and had a bit of luck on her side as well when the potential 1-0 goal rang off the cross bar, allowing the Swedes to go into the intermission with a 0-0 tie.
Sweden took the 1-0 lead 6:29 into the second period when Erika Grahm’s shot trickled over Canada goaltender Cassie Seguin’s glove. But the lead didn’t last long as Laurie Kingsbury slammed in a shot 1:13 later to tie the game. Daoust increased the lead with another pair of goals before the end of the period, giving Canada a 3-1 advantage.
Sweden came out in the third strong, but Jamie Lee Rattray’s 4-1 goal ultimately broke the Swedes, as they never recovered from the tally allowing Canada to dominate the rest of the game. Daoust and Brittany Phillips both scored to bring the final to 6-1.
Finland – Russia 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 0-0, 1-0)
FUSSEN, Germany – Finland avoided the relegation game at the World Women U18 Championship after defeating Russia, 2-1, in a dramatic overtime finish.
Susanna Tapani shot in the game-winner that trickled into the net above the glove of Russian goaltender Anna Prugova. The goal emptied the Finnish bench in celebration, while the Russians fell to the ice on their knees in defeat.
Many expected the Finns, a traditional women’s hockey powerhouse, to have no problems with the Russians. But Russia withstood a persistent Finnish attack to force the overtime. Russia now must skate in the relegation game against Switzerland, with the loser going down to Division I. Finland will face host Germany in the fifth-place game.
Olga Susina scored the surprising 1-0 goal with 2:45 left in the first period. The power-play goal was a blow for the Finns, who spent much of the period in the Russian zone, with a 9-3 shots advantage.
Tiina Saarimaki put an end to the Finnish frustration midway through the second period tipping in the deflection on the power-play, tying the game at one. The next half of the game was scoreless and held precious few scoring chances as both teams played conservatively. The game seemed destined for a shootout until Tapani’s overtime goal surprised both teams.
The relegation game will begin tomorrow at 12:00, while the fifth-place game follows at 15:30.
Switzerland – Germany 1-2 (0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 0-0, 0-1)
FUSSEN, Germany - Germany is safe from relegation at the World Women's U18 Championship and will now play for fifth place tomorrow after defeating Switzerland 2-1 in a shootout. For the Swiss tomorrow’s game against Russia is critical as the loser will be relegated to Division I.
Germany’s Manuela Anwander settled things as the fourth shooter in the scoreless shootout, beating Swiss goaltender Sophie Anthamatten top shelf for the victory.
The game was low-scoring, but not for lack of power-play opportunities as there was no love lost between the neighboring teams. The Swiss has 42 penalty minutes, while Germany had 26 in the chippy affair.
Germany was the better team in the first period, out-shooting the Swiss 17-4, but had to settle for a 0-0 deadlock at the end of 20 minutes. Jessica Geml ended the German frustration midway through the game, putting in the 1-0 power-play goal. Switzerland countered with a power-play tally of their own when Fabiola Bachmann scored five minutes later. Despite a handful of good chances, the game remained scoreless through overtime, leading to Anwander’s heroics in the shootout.
Switzerland will face Russia game in tomorrow’s relegation game. Germany has a less daunting task ahead as they will play merely for bragging rights, and fifth place, against Finland.