By: Benedict Chen
In an unexpected turn of events, Team Canada beat their rivals to win the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship. They had been defeated by the United States 7-0 earlier in the tournament, but this game was different. The Canadians scored early, and even though the Americans got a few pucks into their net, they defended well and held on for the win.
In the first period, Canada kept the pressure in the U.S. zone. Just seconds after the puck dropped, the Canadian offense went on a 3-on-1 and Karel Prefontaine fired a shot that deflected off the crossbar.
A few minutes later, Ava Murphy was able to draw a penalty against Team U.S.A.’s Kirsten Simms. Murphy then struck on the power play, firing a shot that Alexia Aubin deflected past the U.S.A. goaltender Annalies Bergmann and into the net to draw first blood for Canada.
The United States had a few opportunities to convert with Alex Law and Ava Murphy getting called to the penalty box but were unable to do so. Even though the U.S. outshot Canada 9-4, Canadian goaltender Mari Pietersen stood tall in the first period.
Into the second and the Canadians were outshooting the Americans 6-4. Eleven minutes and thirty-four seconds later, Ava Murphy took a loose puck from the top of the face-off circle and launched it through Annalies Bergmann to double the lead for Canada.
With seven minutes and thirty-seven seconds left, Jocelyn Amos buried a Karel Prefontaine rebound and made it 3-0 Canada.
However, the United States would answer back. Canada’s Jordan Baxter would get called to the penalty box for an illegal hit and USA’s Finley McCarthy would capitalize on the opportunity by firing a wrist shot on the power play to get the United States on the board. Seven seconds later, Claire Enright would get a rebound past Pietersen to cut Canada’s lead to 1.
In the third, both Canada and the United States had the opportunity to score but were unable to.
With a minute and thirty-one seconds left, Annalies Bergmann left the net for an extra attacker. The United States put pressure in the Canadian zone but with Mari Pietersen and the rest of Team Canada holding their ground, Canada would come out on top and win the championship 3-2.
Team USA outshot Team Canada 31-21. Mari Pietersen recorded 29 saves for Canada while Annalies Bergmann recorded 18 saves for the United States.
Player of the game honors were given to Mari Pietersen of Canada and Claire Enright of the United States.
Finland took home the bronze medal after beating Sweden 3-0. Sweden had beaten them 4-3 in the preliminary round, but the Finnish defense looked much stronger against what was supposed to be a tough Swedish offense.
Sanni Vanhanen earned a hat-trick in Finland’s victory against the Swedes. She scored her first goal in the second period and her next two in the third.
Vanhanen also plays on the Finnish senior women’s national team and played at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Finland’s victory won her the third bronze medal of her career.
Finland outshot Sweden 35-24. Emilia Kyrkko recorded a shutout for Finland while Lisa Jonsson recorded 21 saves for Sweden.
Sanni Vanhanen was named player of the game for Finland while Ebba Hedqvist was named player of the game for Sweden.