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.