Gold-medal game preview
by Erin Brown|13 JUN 2022
The United States and Canada will meet for the 13th time in the Women's U18 gold-medal game.
photo: Chris Tanouye / HHOF-IIHF Images
After avenging their round-robin loss to Finland on Sunday, Canada will aim to do the same against the United States in the gold-medal game of the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.

The contest will take place at 19:30 on Monday at LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wisconsin. The game can be seen on TSN in Canada; the NHL Network will broadcast it in the United States.

When the teams first met on June 9, the United States skated to a 7-0 triumph. The Americans went 3-for-7 on the power play and chased Hailey MacLeod from the net after five goals. Mari Pietersen finished the contest with 14 saves.

The U.S. win marked the most goals their U18 squad has produced against the border rival, as well as the largest margin of victory. It was also the first time the Americans registered a shutout over Canada.

"We know that it won't be that," Team USA coach Katie Lachapelle said. "I expect just a hard-fought game. Both teams are going to probably have to face a little adversity throughout the game. I know it's going to be a fantastic game."

But this time, the Canadians will have Jade Iginla in the lineup. The top forward re-joined the team after missing the first three games of the tournament with an upper-body injury.

The daughter for Hockey Hall of Famer, Jarome, Iginla scored the first goal of her international career in Canada's 2-1 semifinal victory over Finland on Sunday. Madison Chantler provided the game-winner, while Pietersen made nine saves.

While the Canadians have gotten balanced scoring in 5-on-5 play with 16 players registering at least one point in this tournament, their power play has struggled, going 0-for-14.

However, in their past two games against the Finns and Slovakia, the Canadians have started showing signs of a blossoming offense, outshooting opponents, 110-15.

"It has taken a little longer than we might have expected, but we are starting to come together as a team on the ice," Team Canada coach Howie Draper said. "I think we are getting better every game and hopefully tomorrow will be our best game of the tournament, which is what we were shooting for.”

The Americans, meanwhile, escaped a semifinal upset with a 3-2 triumph over Sweden.

The United States was vying to become the first team at the U18 level to capture "perfect gold" — playing the entire tournament without trailing or being tied after 0-0. It's a feat that has been accomplished at the women's senior level just three times, although never at U18.

But the Swedes snapped the Americans' shutout streak of 195 minutes and four seconds, then became the first squad at this tournament to take a lead against them.

After a second period in which the United States recorded seven penalties and fell behind 2-1, they came from behind to win 3-2. Maggie Scannell produced the tying goal 78 seconds into the third period and Grace Dwyer delivered the game-winner with 6:31 left in regulation.

"Once we got that sorted out, we started really getting back to our game, getting pucks deep, keeping possession and getting pucks on net," Lachapelle said.

Forward Laila Edwards and defender Sydney Morrow are among the tournament's top five scoring leaders with eight points apiece. Edwards has four goals and four assists, while Morrow has contributed a goal and seven assists.

Monday's game will mark the 13th time in 14 years the Canadians and the Americans will face off in the final. The United States leads 7-5 all-time in the gold-medal matchup. Seven of the meetings have required overtime, with the Americans winning four of those.

The largest margin of victory in a gold-medal match between the teams came in 2014, when Canada won, 5-1. The Americans have twice topped the Canadians by a three-goal margin, in 2008 and 2011. Canada produced the only shutout, 3-0, in 2012.

The United States, which is defending theor 2020 title, is 1-1 on home soil in gold-medal games. They have won six of the last seven championships.

Canada last won in 2019.

"I know Canada's gonna come out hard, so we're going to come out hard too." Morrow said. "This is a gold medal game we're gonna play like it's a gold medal game. And we're going to do everything right in order to play our game, play the right way in order to win."