Canada U18 women to play for gold medal

MADISON, Wis. – Madison Chantler’s goal midway through the third period on Sunday proved to be the winner as Canada defeated Finland 2-1 to advance to the gold-medal final of the women’s U-18 world hockey championship.

Jade Iginla gave Canada a 1-0 lead at 15:04 of the first period with her first international goal, which held until Tilli Keranen put Finland on the board at 6:52 of the second period

Canada outshot Finland 45-10 and there were only four minor penalties called in the fast-moving contest. Mari Pietersen made nine saves in the win.

“It has been an extraordinary experience for 1/8 the team 3/8 off the ice, and we have a very tight-knit group, ” said Canadian coach Howie Draper of Edmonton.

“It has taken a little longer than we might have expected, but we are starting to come together as a team on the ice. I think we are getting better every game and hopefully tomorrow (Monday) will be our best game of the tournament, which is what we were shooting for.”

Chantler was thrilled that her goal pushed her team into the gold final.

“We had good defensive zone coverage and then (Karel Prefontaine) popped (the puck) over to me off the boards and I took the chance to drive by their defence, take a shot and it went in,” said Chantler.

“I am so proud of this team. We would not have been able to (get to the gold-medal game) if we did not all work together. The energy is pretty high in the locker room.”

Following the game, Jocelyn Amos, Sarah MacEachern and Sara Swiderski were named Team Canada’s three best players of the tournament.

Canada will play for gold on Monday at La Bahn Arena against the winner of Sunday’s late game between Sweden and the United States.