Friday, 11 April 2014

Picard and Potomak score twice as Canada makes it three in a row at IIHF U18 Worlds

Heading into the seventh annual IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Hockey Championships, Canada and the United States were the proud recipients of three gold medals each. With Canada having won the last two consecutive gold medals, it only added to the United States motivation.

After a scoreless first period at the Budapest Ice Centre, which saw Canada unable to capitalize on two power play opportunities, Sarah Potomak of the Pursuit of Excellence in British Columbia would provide Canada with the lead. After her goal at 15:04 of the second, the flood gates would open as three unanswered goals provided Canada with a three-goal cushion

Just 68 seconds after Potomak slipped the puck past US backstop Erin O’Neill, Eve-Audrey Picard of CEGEP Saint-Laurent added to Canada’s lead as Alexandra Labelle (also her teammate at CEGEP Saint-Laurent) and Stephanie Lalancette earned the assists. At the 18:34 mark, Sam Cogan of the PWHL’s Nepean Wildcats made it 3-0 for Canada. Karly Heffernan, who scored the gold medal winning goal in 2013 was credited with t he assist.

Attempting to change the momentum, the United States logged the first tally in the third period, as Alexandria Laing scored on the power play at 2:45. Of note, it was a five-on-three power play for the US as Canada endured five penalties in the third.

Despite the numerous power play opportunities, the US only managed to outshoot Canada by a 9-6 tally. Canadian goaltender Shea Tiley nullified any chances for the US to reduce Canada’s lead.

With 4:37 remaining, Picard would log her second goal of the game for Canada as the US faced another three goal deficit. Once again, Labelle earned an assist on Picard’s goal. Only 88 seconds later, Potomak would score her second goal of the game. It was a case of irony for Potomak as she scored the first goal of the game, and her third period marker would serve as the last of the game.

Having emerged as the first country to earn three consecutive gold medals at the IIHF Under-18 Women's Worlds, Canada also becomes the first country to nab four gold medals overall. Victoria Bach, Lauren Wildfang, who also served as Canada's captain and Shea Tiley were named the top three Canadian players at the event. 

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