Here is the gold medal game report from the Under 18 World Championship.
STOCKHOLM – Team USA returned to the throne in the under-18 Women’s World Championship, beating Canada 5-2 in the final. Hannah Brandt scored one, and picked up three assists.
Team USA hadn’t gone past the eight-minute mark without scoring in their previous four games in the tournament, and Canada didn’t fare any better against the Americans. Having pressed hard the first few minutes, Team USA got a powerplay opportunity at 6:22.
Paige Savage and Alex Carpenter cycled the puck in the corner before Carpenter simply stickhandled her way to the front of the net, beating Ann-Renee Desbiens with a hard wrist shot from a very close range to give the U.S a lead in the game.
After the goal, the tempo of the game came down a bit, and Canada started to get its chances. And then Team USA got another powerplay when Sarah MacDonnell hooked down an American forward in a scoring chance.
This time it was Hannah Brandt who fooled the Canadian penalty killers with a toe drag that got her to the front of the net. She had time to wait for Desbiens to hit the ice before she snapped a wrist shot top shelf, at 15:39.
With 7:33 Team USA extended their lead to three goals. Brandt carried the puck into the Canadian zone, but was stopped by a Canadian defenceman in the high slot. She managed to pass the puck to Amanda Pelkey on her left, and Pelkey onetimed it past Desbiens.
Emily Fulton gave Canada some hope with a wrist shot that beat Megan Miller high on her stick side at 15:07 but in the next shift, just 22 seconds after Canada’s goal, Team USA struck back as Dana Trivigno slammed Brandt’s rebound to the back of the net.
But before the period was over, Canada was breathing down the Americans’ necks again. Katy Josephs made it 4-2, at 17:33, assisted by Katarina Zgraja and Nicole Kosta. After that Canada, took over the game, but Miller and the buzzer saved Team USA.
Team USA outshot Canada 24-9 in the first two periods.
Canada had a few scoring chances in the third period, but all in all, it was Team USA that controlled the game, with better speed, making it difficult for Canada to create high quality scoring chances.
Instead, Milica McMillen sealed the final score with an empty netter with 35 seconds remaining, with Brandt collecting her fourth point of the game.
RISTO PAKARINEN. www.IIHF.com