For the ninth time in 11 years, Canada’s Under-22/Development Team has won the gold medal at the Meco Cup, defeating Russia 8-3 in Sunday’s gold medal game at Füssen Arena in Germany.
Canada finished the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record against senior women’s teams, beating host Germany 8-1 on Wednesday, Jan. 2, shutting out Switzerland 4-0 on Thursday, Jan. 3, and blanking Finland 2-0 on Saturday, Jan. 5 in the preliminary round to advance to the gold medal game.
On Sunday, Mélodie Daoust from McGill University, CIS opened the scoring at 11:01 in the first, but Russia’s Ekaterina Lebdeva answered just 13 seconds later to tie it up. Jamie Lee Rattray restored the Canadian lead at 13:21, but Russia replied again with a goal from Tatiana Burina before Laura Stacey scored at 19:14 to give Canada the 3-2 edge going into intermission.
Brianne Jenner from Oakville, Ontario gave Canada the game’s first two-goal lead at 3:11 of the middle frame and Daoust scored her second at 6:31 to make it 5-2 for Canada after 40 minutes. Brigette Lacquette, now at University of Minnesota Duluth, WCHA added another at 4:38 in the third, and Burina scored again for Russia at 8:48, but Caroylne Prévost and Sarah Edney capped it off with two empty net goals late in the third. Christina Kessler made 15 saves for the win, and assisted two goals.
Canada’s Under-22/Development Team was led by head coach Pierre Alain , along with assistant coaches Tim Bothwell and Cassandra Turner. Marie-Philip Poulin served as captain, while Laura Fortino and Jenner were alternate captains.
The American U -18 Team dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to Canada on Jan 5th in the gold-medal game of the 2013 World Championship.
“I thought we had 22 leaders and 22 followers on our team,” said Jeff Kampersal, head coach of Team USA. “They came together really quickly. They’re incredible kids and players and they gave their heart and soul in this game. I’m proud of our team and I can’t speak highly enough about the character of these girls.”
The U.S. outshot Canada by a 20-1 count in the opening period and putting the first goal in net off the stick of Jenny Ryan at 18:04. Her blast from the point hit a Canadian player in front of the net and deflected in.
The two teams combined for 19 shots on goal in a scoreless second period. U.S. goaltender Sidney Peters made 10 stops in the period, including one from point-blank range and several others on goal-mouth scrambles.
After several close chances for both teams in the third period, Canada tied the game with 13 seconds remaining with an extra attacker to send the game into overtime. Canada then scored just :58 seconds into overtime to gain the victory.
The U.S. finished the tournament with a 4-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and outscored its opponents, 36-2
Stockholm 27 December 2012
Michelle Lowenhielm turns 18 in March 2013. She made the Swedish Under 18 squad when she was 14 years old. Here are her thoughts in an interview with editor Elizabeth Etue on the Under 18 aka the Junior World Championship in Finland (Dec 29-Jan. 5)
My name is Michelle Lowenhielm and I live in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. This year I'm the Captain of the Swedish team in the world championship. It's my fourth year in this tournament. I have also played for the senior team of Sweden at the Women’s World Championship in USA 2012.
EE: Tell me a bit about yourself; if you are a student; what are you studying and what do you want to do after you finish school?
ML: I started to play hockey when I was five years old and have played ever since. I have a brother who play's hockey too. I'm studying economics and law and when I'm finished with the school here in Sweden, I'm planning to attend a college in the USA.
EE: How important is it for younger players to participate in this world championship?
ML: The tournament gives the players possibility to show the skills on the ice and learn something from the other talented players all over the world. Of course the tournament gives the players experience of big tournaments and is a good preparation for future tournaments in the women’s world championship. Friendship and to make contacts for the future is even very important for every young player – just do it!
EE: What is your impression of your team in terms of its strengths vs. other countries?
ML: I think we have a good chance to do something great in Finland/Vierumäki, we are all good individually and together we have a great team spirit.
EE: What are your impressions of Canada and USA in terms of your chance of beating them?
ML: If we play our best and play our game plan, then we have a great chance to beat Canada and USA – we will do it!
EE: How strong is the goaltending on the team; Sweden has a good history with goalies?
ML: I think the goaltending is very strong as it always has been.
We have two big talented goalies – it will not be easy to score on us. ( Goaltenders are: #1 Julia Åberg Julia and #29 Maria Omberg)
EE: Scoring goals is always a challenge in a fast paced tournament with good defence on teams. How will Sweden do?
ML: To score goals we have to shoot a lot, have traffic in front of the goalie and play together as a team.
EE: Motivation is always important; how does your team stay motivated? What are the team bonding activities?
ML: For the motivation we have a lot of fun, we help each other on the ice and outside the ice and we do our best all the time. Games like “three in the row” on the ice is always appreciated.
EE: Most English fans know little about the different teams where your teammates play; can you describe the league and its strengths at this time?
ML: In the Swedish elite league (Riksserien) there are eight teams which all are playing against each other four times. After that we have a play off and the best team wins the gold. The league has become better and better through the years. This year all the teams have a chance to take home the gold.
EE: How does the Swedish league you play in compare to the calibre of the world championship?
ML: the Under 18 World Championship is a great tournament with tough and good games. When you meet a better team in the Swedish league you come up to the same level as the world championship games.
Regards and good luck to all the teams during the tournament
Michelle Lowenhielm Captain Team Sweden Under18.
A class of her own in 2013. The new year will be full of big events for Danielle Goyette. She will be one of the winners of the 17th class of the IIHF Hall of Fame to be inducted on May 19, 2013 on Gold Medal Day of the 77th IIHF Men’s World Championship in Stockholm. She will also be the assistant coach for the senior women's team at the world championship in Ottawa.
Goyette, 46, has an illustrious resume in women’s hockey. She completed her sixth season as head coach of the University of Calgary’s women’s hockey team leading the Dinos to their first CIS national championship in 2012.
Goyette served as an assistant coach with Team Canada during the 2011-12 season, winning a gold medal at the 2012 World Championship and a silver medal at the 2011 4 Nations Cup. She has served twice as an assistant coach with Canada’s Under-18 Team, winning silver medals at the Under-18 World Championship in 2008 and 2009.
As a player, she was a two-time Olympic gold medallist and eight-time world champion who retired following the 2006-07 season and currently sits third all-time in goals (114), fifth in assists (105) and fourth in points (219) in Team Canada history. Here is an interview via email with her about her career and winning the award.
EE: What does it mean for you to be inducted into the IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame?
DG: It's a great honor to be recognized internationally. I feel lucky that I played with great players and great teams, without them this would never have happened.
EE: You have just won your first CIS championship (2011/12) with the Calgary Dinos after 6 years as the coach. What were the key elements of that winning team for you?
DG: The way we train off the ice and the commitment of the players to this program. It's a young program and we know we have to get better every year if we want to be successful not only on the ice but in class too. The addition of Hayley Wickenheiser was a big part of our success – she has been a great role model for our players and they learn way faster when they see how hard you have to train every day on and off the ice. As a coach you can tell them what to do but if they see it day after day, it becomes the expectation!
EE: You have a long history in women’s game as a player and now as a coach. How do you think the game has changed?
DG: The Olympics changed the game, now young players dream to represent their country at an young age because now it's possible to play hockey; it's now normal for a girl to play hockey.
This is one of the sports that has evolved the most in the last 15 years. The players are getting better younger, and there are more opportunities for them to play at university level and get scholarships – and not just in the United States. There are lots of really good options to play university hockey and get an education in Canada as well.
EE: You have worked with Canada’s U-18 players; what is the difference in the new generation of players entering the elite game? How are they different from when you were playing?
DG: The players are starting to play and learn the game at a younger age, they have good coaches at a young age.
EE: What do you think are your best qualities as a coach?
DG: Honesty with the players, they know my expectations and I want them to become the best they can.
EE: What advice would give national team players who are looking to be a coach with Hockey Canada?
DG: Play as long as you can, because it’s way easier to be a player then a coach! :) Seriously, you have to be ready to put players first, to make sure they don't have any excuses; that means putting a lot of hours into planning!
EE: What advice would you give players reading this interview who want to play for Team Canada at U-18 level?
DG: You have to be ready to work harder than anybody else and willing to do things that others are not ready to do.
We are waiting for Danielle's answers re her induction in 2013 into the IIHF Hall of Fame. She is the head coach at University of Calgary Dinos who won their first CIS championship in 2011/12 season. We expect to post this by Monday. Stay Tuned.