Pretty incredible, but Carla MacLeod is the first woman to coach a European team to a medal at the Women’s Worlds. In fact, many top European nations have never had a female coach, including Finland, Russia, Japan, Germany, and Czechia (prior to MacLeod). Sweden has had only one, Ylva Martinsen, in 2019. MacLeod is also the first person to win a medal in WW as a player and coach with two different countries. Could MacLeod’s success spur a recruiting wave for women among the European nations?
After her performance in the gold-medal game, there can be no doubt Ann-Renee Desbiens is hands down the best female goalie in the world. And she has some wild numbers to back that up. Like, how about having a perfect record? As in, never losing? In Women’s Worlds play (three events), she is now 12-0, and at two Olympics she is 6-0. She has five combined shutouts and has allowed a grand total of 24 goals in 19 games. And that 18-0 record didn’t always come easy. In five career games against the U.S., Desbiens is, well, 5-0.
Two players who won bronze with MacLeod’s team in Herning also won bronze with Czechia at the first Women’s U18 tournament way back in 2008 in Calgary. Alena Mills (who went by her maiden name Alena Polenska) and Pavlina Horalkova. That inaugural event also included several other players here in 2022, notably Marie-Philp Poulin and Brianne Jenner (CAN), Kendall Coyne Schofield and Amanda Kessel (USA), and Evelina Raselli (SUI).
In 32 career meetings between Canada and the United States in WW play, 15 have been decided by one goal, including the 2022 gold-medal game. Margins are razor thin.
Over the course of nine Women’s Worlds, Canadian defender Jocelyne Larocque has had a sensational career, and she finished the 2022 Women’s Worlds by winning gold in her 50th career WW game. A nice even number. But it wasn’t until game number 48, a 3-0 quarter-finals win against Sweden, that she finally scored her first goal! Of course, she’s not there for the offence, but she must be relieved to get rid of the bagel from her stats line all the same.
More and More Unreachable
Hilary Knight left Herning supremely disappointed with her silver medal, but she will one day look back with pride at what she accomplished here all the same. She surpassed Hayley Wickenheiser as the all-time leading points getter in WW history, and now has 89 points in 12 Women’s Worlds. Of that number, 53 are goals, also a record. The nearest players to her 89 are teammate Kendall Coyne Schofield, who now has 67, and Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin, who has 65. Perhaps they have an outside chance of catching her one day, but no one will touch those 53 goals (and counting) for many years to come.
One career scoring record that Wickenheiser still holds is for most career assists at 49. And only Coyne Schofield is particularly close. Knight and Poulin both have 36, while Coyne Schofield has 41 and could reach Hayley with a strong outing in April 2023. Other notables include Jenni Hiirikoski with 32, Brianne Decker 40, Michelle Karvinen 34, and Amanda Kessel 35.
Another record that was extended this past WW was Finnish captain Hiirkoski’s for most games played. Yes, she set the all-time mark by playing in her 14th Women’s Worlds, but she has now played in a whopping 82 games. Second on the list is Karoliina Rantanaki (FIN) with 69. And since Hiirikoski shows no signs of slowing down, she could hit 100 before the next Olympics. Amazing.
Denmark played at the second ever Women’s Worlds, in 1992, and didn’t qualify again until 2021. They won once way back when, but it wasn’t until 28 August that they recorded their first ever shutout, in a 1-0 win over Hungary. And they did so in style. Hungary outshot the Danes badly, 45-19, but Lisa Jensen was sensational in keeping the Hungarians off the scoresheet.
Brianne Jenner scored the game-winning goal of the final at 10:54 of the second period. This marked the earliest gold winner since 2009, when Meagan Duggan scored the second U.S. goal at 10:10 of the second in a 4-1 win over Canada.
Moving Up, Way Up
Thanks to great misfortune for this year's hosts, Denmark will play in Division I-A next year and France will move up. One player who won’t easily be missed is forward Lore Baudrit. She stands 6’3”/190cm and tips the Toledos at 185lbs./84kg. She is, literally, head and shoulders above the competition. She plays in the Swedish league as well. This will mark only the second ever top-level appearance for the French at the Women’s Worlds, the previous one coming in 2019 when they finished last and were demoted. Hopefully, Marion Allemoz will be in the lineup alongside Baudrit. A teammate of Baudrit’s in MoDo, the 33-year-old has been captain of the team since 2009.