Thursday, 25 April 2013
One of the most influential US players in CWHL history, Caitlin Cahow has retired from the US National Team. The winner of the 2008 Bob Allen Award (given to the most outstanding women’s player in the United States), Cahow is only the second born US captain to lead a team to the Clarkson Cup (which she did with the Boston Blades in 2013), Cahow is a living legend in American women’s hockey circles.
Her debut with the Boston Blades came on October 30, 2010 in a contest against the Burlington Barracudas. While she was held pointless in a 3-0 win, her following game would yield impressive results. Cahow would log one goal and two assists as part of a 6-4 triumph on Halloween 2010. She would finish her inaugural season with the Blades with 13 points in 23 games.
For the 2012-13 campaign, Cahow would inherit the team’s captaincy and help the Blades to their first regular season championship. Having logged 14 points, her maturity and acumen were key factors in the black and gold enjoying a magical season. Her leadership will continue to be the foundation for a Blades club looking to repeat in 2014.
Digit Murphy, the Boston Blades head coach and general manager stated, “Caitlin Cahow has been a driving force in the CWHL’s presence in the US. Her experience and leadership have been paramount in the exciting success that has brought the Boston Blades to our championship status. Caitlin's relentless intensity and never quit attitude made her the three-time Olympian and Professional Sports Champion that all young female athletes should emulate.“
The 2013 Clarkson Cup was not Cahow’s first experience playing for the coveted Cup. She competed in the first ever Clarkson Cup in 2009 as a member of the Minnesota Whitecaps, playing alongside Julie Chu, Jenny Potter and Angela Ruggiero. Cahow would win the award as Top Defender in 2009, respectively.
Cahow also competed in two Winter Games competitions, where she would win silver (Vancouver 2010, where she logged four points) and a bronze medal (Torino 2006). In 2006, she would also captain the US Under-22 Select Team for a series against Canada’s Under-22 contingent. These accomplishments merely scratch the surface of what Cahow has accomplished while donning the USA jersey.
With the US National Women’s Team, Cahow would make her debut with the US senior team at the 2005 Four Nations Cup in a silver medal effort. This would come shortly after the US defeated Canada for the first time to claim gold at the 2005 IIHF Women’s Worlds. Cahow would claim her own gold medals at the IIHF Worlds in 2008, 2009 and 2011. In addition, she would score twice in the gold medal game against Canada in 2009.
Ivy League educated (she accumulated 113 points with the Harvard Crimson); Cahow is currently studying law at Boston College. While the US National Team has lost one of its finest ambassadors, they have gained a role medal whose remarkable legacy will be one for the next generation of players to look up to.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
First Relegation Game goes to a shootout with strong goaltending on display
With the heartbreak of not being able to compete for a medal,
against the in the
relegation. Despite qualifying for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Czech
Republic had to
cope with the fact that demotion was a harsh reality. Sweden
alternate captain Elin Holmlov proceeded and she also attempted a backhanded
shot. Katerina Mrazova, the first European to win the Clarkson Cup shot for the
Czechs and Grahn made a glove save. Sweden
Emilia Andersson was very excited for the win and she believed her team could
prevail in a high pressure situation like the shootout, “I believe in my team.
I knew we could do it. Sara Grahn was awesome in net.” Sweden
With the heartbreak of not being able to compete for a medal,
The moment the puck dropped, the Swedes came out aggressively on offense. Their attack was complemented by the Swedish defense stifling the Czech offense. During the first half of the opening frame, the Czechs only managed one shot on net.
Radka Lhotska was given the assignment of starting between the pipes for the
. She was
peppered with shots throughout the period. Lisa Johansson fired a slapshot that
bounced out of her glove. Czech
With Katerina Flachsova of the
serving a penalty for body checking, the Swedish persistence began to pay
dividends. Johansson would manage to score the first power play goal of the
tournament (at 8:48) for the 1-0 lead. Lina Wester and Emma Eliasson would earn
the assist on Johansson’s goal. Czech Republic
Entering the second stanza,
was on another power play
and hoped to take advantage. Despite great efforts by several players, Lhotska
remained solid between the pipes. Wester, Elin Holmlov and Pernilla Winberg
would all shoot at close range, and all were denied. Sweden
Midway through the second stanza,
held a convincing 21-5
advantage in shots on net. While Sweden struggled to add to their
lead, the defense continued to hold off the Czech offense. Although Katerina
Mrazova continued to show her remarkable skills by weaving through traffic, she
was unable to make things happen on offense. Sweden
It would be difficult for the Czechs to build momentum as Flachsova would be called for another penalty with 2:25 remaining in the second. While Lhotska earned high marks for being able to maintain her composure,
strong puck possession was a factor. Sweden
The final frame would continue to hold much drama as
had a 1-0 lead. While the Czechs looked to tie the score, Swedish goaltender
Sara Grahn found herself tested. A breakaway from Tereza Vanisova signified an
aggressive stance from the Czech offense. Sweden
With a penalty to Emma Eliasson of
Sweden at the 4:45 mark, the
made the bold move of playing with an empty net for an extra attacker. While
Grahn successfully neutralized the power play, the Czechs were relentless. Czech Republic
Eventually, their persistence yielded a positive result as Czech captain Alena Polenska tied the score. Assisted by Lucie Povova and Denisa Krizova, the shot floated through heavy traffic and found its way past Grahn.
Although both squads tried to end the game in regulation, the strong goaltending on display ensured that there would be an overtime period. A slapshot had tricked through the pads of Lhotska and the red light had flashed.
believed they had scored the game winning goal 26 seconds in, the play had to
go under review due to the heavy traffic in the crease. With no goal as the
call, play continued as both squads were determined to score. Sweden
A tripping call to Jenni Aserholt with 1:56 remaining in overtime forced the Swedes to go into penalty kill mode. Erika Grahm collided with Czech player Lucie Povova into the boards and Povova was down for a few seconds. While no penalty was called on the play,
’s Lina Wester was called for
With Grahn providing a solid performance between the pipes, a winner would need to be determined in the shootout. Petra Herzigova from the
shot first and her backhand shot was denied. Czech Republic
The second shooter for
was Pernilla Winberg. With
strong skating strides, her shot was blocked by Lhotska. Following Winberg was Vendula
Pribylova and she was unable to solve Grahn. Emma Eliasson would emerge as the
shootout hero for the Swedes as she slipped the puck past Lhotska as the
Swedish bench leaped from the bench in an emotional outpouring of support. Sweden
Depsite the heartbreaking loss, Jana Fialova of the
approached the loss in stride. When asked if the shootout was exciting, she replied,
“Of course, it was exciting. Going into the shootout was awesome.” Czech Republic
Having fought back to tie the game and force a shootout, Fialova felt the game gave the Czechs confidence, “It was good for us. We beat them the last time and we knew we could do it. We did not give up today.”
When asked if the win gave the Swedes momentum for the second relegation game, she stated, “For sure. We want to win the next game so we don’t have to play three games. We want to stay in this division.”
Heading into the contest, there was a must-win feeling for
Standing between the pipes for
was Valentina Lizana. Having
faced 14 shots in the first frame, she played valiantly. The only goal she
would allow in the first came courtesy of a power play. Sweden
With Erika Grahm serving a penalty for body contact, Anna Shibanova would release a slap shot from the blue line that was tipped in by Russian captain Yekaterina Smolentseva.
Heading into the second stanza,
added to their lead. A
balanced scoring attack in the second period saw several players log points in
the frame. Veteran Galina Skiba would release a booming slapshot that would
bounce off the crossbar into the net for the 2-0 advantage. Russia
would enjoy a power play after the goal (a body checking call to Anna
Shibanova), the advantage was spoiled by a penalty to ’s Lisa
Johansson. With 45 seconds remaining in her penalty, Sweden would make it 3-0 on the
strength of a marker by Alexandra Vafina. Russia
With 5:22 remaining, Sara Grahn replaced Lizana in the Swedish crease. At the time of the goaltending change,
Russia had peppered Lizana with 26 shots, while
could only garner eight shots. Sweden
Despite the goaltending change,
continued to struggle on
offense. With a power play in the last minute of the second for Sweden Sweden (a tripping call on ), Pernilla Winberg had the
best scoring chance but was unable to add a goal on the score sheet. Russia
The third period was defined by a lot of back and forth. Early in the period,
tried to turn things around. Shots by Jenni Asserholt, Emma Eliasson and Erika
Grahm were all denied by Alexandrova. Sweden
At the 11:22 mark of the frame,
was called for cross
checking. With Frida Nevalainen in the penalty box, it became difficult for the
Swedes to build momentum. While they were effective in containing the Russian
offense during the third, the opportunities to score goals were sliding away. Sweden
As there was less than four minutes remaining,
for an extra attacker by competing with the open net. Despite their best
efforts, it was Sweden
that got onto the score sheet. Yelena Dergachyova would score into the open net
prevailed by a 4-0 final. Asserholt was named Player of the Game for Russia , while
Tatiana Burina was recognized for the victorious Russians. Sweden
With the victory,
is off to the quarterfinals.
In many ways, the Russian squad is similar to the Swiss squad of 2012 that won
the bronze medal. The Swiss were a talented squad that flew under the radar and
surprised many. Russia
is in a similar setting and a medal win would provide great momentum heading
into the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. Russia
must regroup for the relegation round, the 2013 IIHF Women’s Worlds have served
as a learning experience. The squad has 13 players that are aged 22 years and
younger. The struggles of today will serve as the backdrop for the possible
glories of tomorrow. Sweden
One of the leaders on
’s team, Elin Holmlov, commented
on what went wrong, “We just need to put the puck in the net and take advantage
of the chances we get.” Johanna Fallman, a young defender for Sweden added, “I think we did our
best. We just couldn’t score in this game. We did really well, and we had
experienced players.” Sweden
Despite the heartbreaking loss to
she remarked on the young team that had, “I think we have seven
people who have played in at least one Women’s Worlds. These young players are
very talented and they have lots of energy and excitement.” Sweden
One of the top scorers for
Iya Gavrilova spoke about the confidence would gain going into the
quarterfinals, “Definitely. It is always special to play against Russia .
They are a good team and we wanted to show we were athletic.” Sweden
When asked if the win against
made a statement, Gavrilova
replied humbly, “I don’t know if the win makes a statement or not. We try to
play our game. We have four lines rolling.” Sweden
With Gavrilova and her Russian teammates facing Florence Schelling and the Swiss in the quarters, she stated, “We are now trying to prepare for our
our game. It will be a tough game. They have a good goalie and it comes down to
one game. We have to go into the next game expecting to be at the top of our
Heading into the final day of competition in Pool B of the 2013 IIHF Women’s Worlds,
A strong German power play made the difference in this contest. Marie Delarbre opened the scoring for the Germans on the power play. They would follow in the second period with another power play marker.
While the Czechs outshot
in the first period, the
club struggled with penalties. Heading into the final frame, the Czechs faced a
4-1 deficit. Katerina Becevova signified a goalie change but the Czech squad
was frustrated. While the Czechs managed to score twice in the third, the
Germans prevailed by a 6-3 tally. Germany
The captain of
, Susann Gotz was excited
about the possibilities after the win, “We were very happy with the win. It is
very important for us for Germany Russia
to get the win versus
so we can play in the bigger ice rink. It is what we want.” Sweden
One of the younger players on the German squad, Jessica Hamerl felt that special teams was a key factor in the victory, “We applied good pressure. We used our power play very well. We played well in the second period and scored more goals. It was good for the team’s confidence.”
Alena Polenska, the team captain of the
reflected on the loss, “It wasn’t our day. There were some good moments, but we
let up at some points. Czech Republic
was able to capitalize on their power play. It took a long time for us to
realize we could fight back.” Germany
During the second intermission, the squad was still behind. In asking Polenska the mood in the locker room, she replied, “Some players were a bit discouraged. We were trying to encourage each other. We told each other ‘If they could score three goals, we can score three.’ It was different than the first intermission, not the same atmosphere.”
Forward Maritta Becker of
gave her impressions of the
first period, “At the beginning, we had a bit of trouble. We knew from other
games, that we had troubles at the beginning. We had a lot of penalties in the
first period. When the Germany got their first penalty, we had
some confidence in the game.” Czech
With the win, Becker felt that it showed what the German squad was capable of, “We performed really well and were really glad. We could show up in the last period, and today we showed the experience that we have.”
Tanja Eisenschmid, who also competes at the NCAA level with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, was named Player of the Game for
I first heard my name, I could not believe it. Then it was like ‘Number 23,
that’s me!’ I was even happier because we won. A really great feeling.” Germany
With the possibility of qualifying for the quarterfinals, she was very excited, “It would be awesome. First, we would play
Canada, US, Finland
To play in the bigger rink is second, so that’s even better. It would just be
awesome to play in Switzerland Scotia Bank
Place, where the NHLers play.”
to 6-3 victory with three point performance Czech Republic
A hard skating match with great determination was the theme of this exhibition match at the CIH Arena in
After a visceral 10-1 loss to Rockland, Ontario Finland
on March 29 in Smiths Falls, Ontario,
the was hoping for a better result
versus the Ottawa Gee Gees. Czech Republic
A hard skating match with great determination was the theme of this exhibition match at the CIH Arena in
Cassie Seguin, an alumnus with the Canadian Under-18 team was the starting goaltender for the Gee Gees. During the first period, she was a solid presence between the pipes as the Gee Gees were outshot. Denisa Krizova of the
was the first player to test
as she released a powerful shot. Seguin
Following Krizova, Lucie Povova (who plays at the NCAA level with the Northeastern Huskies) shot in heavy traffic but
was prepared. Klara Chmelova, who once
attended the Seguin CIH Academy
in Rockland, weaved her way through traffic but stoned her as well. Seguin
would get some offensive support as Maude Laramee (a 2013 CIS All-Rookie
selection), buried the puck past Katerina Becevova for the 1-0 lead. Laramee
would add to her own cause as she scored again. After nearly tripping near
centre ice, Laramee kept her composure while earning her second score of the
Despite the 2-0 setback, the Czechs showed no signs of quit. With only 9.7 seconds left, Denisa Krizova got on the score sheet as she reduced the Gee Gees lead in half.
Heading into the second stanza, the Czechs built on the momentum of their late first period goal. Katerina Mrazova led the offensive charge as she scored at the 3:25 mark to tie the score.
After the first 11 minutes of the period, the Gee Gees offense was stifled by a stingy Czech defense. The number of shots was 13-1 in favour of the Czechs. Shortly afterwards, Caitlin Fowler would stand between the pipes for the Gee Gees.
The Czechs would continue their relentless attack on offense. Mrazova would lead the charge again as she scored another goal. After the goal, the Czechs enjoyed a 16-3 advantage in shots. At the 15:37 mark of the second, Krizova added to the Czech lead with an unassisted tally.
Despite a valiant performance by the Gee Gees, the offense struggled. Near the end, the Gee Gees thought they had scored. With a crowded crease, the goal was disallowed.
While the Gee Gees faced a two goal deficit, there was no sign of quit. Fowler was courageous in net as she tried to keep the Gee Gees competitive. With 16:46 left in the frame, Gee Gees captain Fannie Desforges (the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice champion) scored a goal to make the score 4-3.
With a penalty to Katerina Flachsova, the Gee Gees were hoping to tie the score. With Laramee on the ice, she was hoping to score the hat trick. Despite their best efforts, Becevova kept the Gee Gees off the score sheet.
As time was ticking, the Czech defense was able to contain the Gee Gees. With 7:44 remaining, Chmelova would score the fifth goal of the contest as the
Mrazova was credited with the assist, providing her with her third point of the
The final goal of the contest would also be scored by the
as Povova’s persistence throughout the game paid off with a goal at the 16:02
mark. While the Gee Gees tried to mount a comeback, it was not meant to be.
Becevova managed to keep the opposition off the score sheet as the squad enters
the Women’s Worlds with confidence. Czech Republic
Katerina Mrazova, the first European to win the Clarkson Cup was the contest’s leading scorer with three points. “I think we improved with every period. Scoring two goals was very good for my confidence. It is good to prepare for the tournament.”
Having also scored for the
, Lucie Povova (who
competes for the Northeastern Huskies in the NCAA) added, “In this game, we
took time with the puck and tried to make plays.” Czech Republic
Having scored the first two goals of the contest, Maude Laramee of the Gee Gees remarked, “It was fun to score two goals. My team helped me a lot. Playing against an international team showed what it takes. It was a good experience and showed where I can improve and where my strengths are.”
With school exams, preparation for the international friendly with the
“It was tough as this is the school exam period. Trying to get everyone at
practice at the same time was difficult to manage. Some players committed to go
back home for Easter. This was a good experience. We had fun with it and I am
proud to be part of a great team,” stated Yanick Evola, Gee Gees head coach. Czech
Former Red Bull Crashed Ice world champion Fannie Desforges was playing in her final game for the Gee Gees. As the team captain, the opportunity to finish her career against an international team was a great point of pride.
“Going out against an international opponent was a great experience. To be able to play against an international team, I was very grateful for the opportunity.” The experience was enriched by being able to score a goal. “It was an awesome way to finish the year.”
Having played with the Canadian Under-18 squad in years past, Gee Gees backstop Cassie Seguin enjoyed competing against the Czechs, “For sure it brought back great memories of being on the U18 squad. I love playing international hockey. I always knew it was a good game and this makes the experience even better.”
Monday, 15 April 2013
An emotional match for Sara Seiler saw her face-off against her former club team, the Carleton Ravens university women’s team. The contest began with a ceremonial face-off featuring Sue Scherer, the first captain of the Canadian Women’s Team that captured gold at the inaugural IIHF Women’s Worlds in 1990.
Early on, the Germans believed that they had captured the first lead of the game. In the Ravens zone, Sara Seiler made a cross-ice pass that bounced off the skate of Ravens defender Kaylee Welk. While the puck found its way in the net, the goal was disallowed.
Manuela Anwander of
proceeded to record a few shots on Ravens starting goaltender Tamber Tisdale. While there was a lot of back and forth with clean skating, both clubs struggled to assemble an offense. Germany
Seiler weaved through traffic but her shot was denied by the Ravens backstop. As the minutes wound down, the Germans peppered Tisdale with shots. Before the period would expire, the persistence would pay off as the Germans would earn the lead. From her knees, Julia Zorn managed to put the puck past Tisdale for the 1-0 lead.
Heading into the second stanza, the Germans built on the momentum and added to the lead. With 18:15 remaining, Franziska Busch buried the puck past Tisdale as the Germans pulled ahead by a 2-0 tally.
Near the midway point of the second, the Ravens would change their goalie as Eri Kiribuchi stood between the pipes. The Germans followed suit a few minutes later as Viona Harrer replaced Schroder.
For the remainder of the period, the Ravens struggled to assemble an offensive attack.
provided a stout defense which frustrated the Ravens throughout the contest. Kiribuchi managed to maintain the Ravens morale as she made a pad save on Anwander to prevent the Germans from adding to their lead. Germany
The beginning of the third period brought with it humour. With the Ravens on a power play early in the frame, Seiler and Ravens defender Erin Beaver collided. Seiler tripped and crashed into Kiribuchi. The two got up and exchanged smiles.
Although the Germans neutralized the Ravens first power play, it would not take long for the Ravens to go back on the power play. Maritta Becker was called for tripping. While the Ravens played valiantly, they were struggling to solve the German defense.
After both penalties were killed, the Germans came back on offense. Andrea Lanzl added to the German lead to the approval of the German fans in attendance. After the goal, Ravens alternate captain Victoria Gouge was called for a penalty and the Germans benefited from a power play.
Kiribuchi continued to be tested. Sophie Kratzer released a powerful shot from centre ice. The Germans would continue to press with Lanzl leading the offensive charge. While Kiribuchi managed to not allow another goal, the Ravens struggled with offense and were shutout in a 3-0 final.
Graduating player Kelsey Vander Veen, of the Carleton Ravens, was playing in her final game. The experience of playing Seiler was a treasured one, “It was a lot of fun seeing her out there. She is a skilled player and fun to play against.”
During a shootout after the game (a friendly exhibition for the fans), Vander Veen scored a shootout, a perfect way to end her Ravens career. “The shootout goal was a treasured moment for sure. I had never scored in the shootout before.”
Ravens goaltender Eri Kiribuchi, the Ravens goaltender was named Player of the Game for her team. “I was surprised but happy.” Having played for several seasons with Seiler, the thought of playing against her evoked the following, “I was a little scared to play her because I know she has a good shot. It was fun to stop her shots and good to play against her.”
Blaire MacDonald who inherited the team captaincy from the Ravens commented on playing against her. “In the beginning I was fine as I had thought all day of playing. Near the end it was different. A lot harder than the beginning.” With this being her final game, the opportunity to play her former teammate was a memorable way to finish, “It was a great game and I couldn’t have asked for a better game to end my career.”
When Sara Seiler was asked about keeping her emotions in check for the game, she replied, “I think so. Once the game started, I was fine. I was nervous during the on-ice warmup.”
While crashing into Kiribuchi in the Ravens crease was an unexpected moment, Seiler was concerned for her former Ravens teammate, “I felt really sorry and I said sorry to her. It was fine and there was no problem there.”
Her impressions of the game were as follows, “Some things were good, others were not that good. We came to prepare for our next game. It was fine for us and we are well prepared for the tournament. We are looking forward to getting started.”
Player of the Game for
, Julia Zorn was happy with the game’s outcome. “The game gave us confidence. The way we finished the game gives us a positive feeling for the upcoming week. I scored before the first period ended. After the first half, we played better, and made better decisions.” Germany
Starting goaltender Ivonne Schroder noticed that the Ravens were a hard working team, “They were a good team, very young, really motivated. We skated a lot and worked really hard.”
While she did not suit up in the game, Jenny Harss (who won an NCAA Frozen Four title in 2010), acknowledged the importance of the contest. “We wanted to have one more good game before we started the championship on Tuesday. We want to go into the tournament with a good positive feeling, and be confident.”