On Thursday, Team USA won the 2020 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship Final in overtime over Canada by a score of 2-1 at Stadion Vladimir Dzurilla in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The game ended on an American two-on-none after 77 minutes of hockey – including 17 minutes of three-on-three sudden death overtime on the large European ice surface. Kiara Zanon got the overtime winner off of a feed from team captain Maggie Nicholson.
The United States got on the board first following back-to-back Canadian penalties. Five seconds after Aly McLeod returned to the ice after serving two minutes for tripping, Canada found itself back on the penalty kill as Lindsay Bochna took a hooking minor. Abbey Murphy scored unassisted, one minute into the American man advantage.
The second period saw strong performances from both the Canadian netminder Eve Gascon and USA’s Skylar Vetter. The Americans had 18 shots on goal through 40 minutes, while Canada had just 14. Although holding onto a slim lead, USA was 1/4 on its power play opportunities through two periods, while Canada was 0/3.
But with Lyndie Lobdell in the box for hooking with just over 14 minutes left to play in the third period, Canada knotted the game up at ones. With just five seconds left on Lobdell’s minor, Sarah Paul scored on a great passing play, as Ann-Frederik Naud centred the puck to Paul off a strong drive from the corner of the offensive zone for a quick one-timer.
Canada had some phenomenal opportunities to win the game late in the third period and in overtime as Shattuck’s Lacey Eden was called on back-to-back tripping minors, however, the Canadians couldn’t score on either power play. Canada outshot their fellow North American rivals 25-24 through 60 minutes of play, but it was in overtime in which the Americans took over.
USA hit the post just four minutes in, before attacking the Canadian goal with multiple chances in tight. Gascon made back-to-back phenomenal stops midway through the frame, before ultimately giving up the winner as teammate Anne Cherkowski gave away the puck in the offensive zone, leading to a USA two-on-none, where Nicholson dished to Zanon who scored the golden goal for the States.
USA finished the game outshooting Canada 34-32, including a 10-6 deficit in the overtime period. Each team scored one power play goal, with the United States picking up the overtime winner with 3:08 to play in the extra frame.