ÖSTERSUND, Sweden – Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team opened defence of its gold medal at the 2023 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship by blanking Finland 8-0 on Sunday.
• Caitlin Kraemer (Waterloo, Ont./Kitchener, OWHA U22 Elite) scored twice in the first period and also added an assist.
• Piper Grober (Toronto, Ont./Durham West, OWHA U22 Elite) and Gracie Graham (Kelowna, B.C./RHA Kelowna, CSSHL) scored the first goals of their international careers and provided an assist each.
• Abby Stonehouse (Blenheim, Ont./London, OWHA U22 Elite) also had a goal and an assist.
• Éloïse Caron (Saint-Hyacinthe, Que./Limoilou, CEGEP), Keira Hurry (London, Ont./London, OWHA U22 Elite) and Abby Lunney (Holland Landing, Ont./Central York, OWHA U22 Elite) rounded out the scoring.
• Alex Law (Whitby, Ont./Durham West, OWHA U22 Elite) had three assists.
• Arianne Leblanc (Repentigny, Que./Stanstead College, JWHL) made nine saves for the shutout.
• Canada outshot Finland 48-9.
Canada vs. Sweden – Monday, January 9 (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT)
TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, are broadcasting 13 games from Östersund Arena; please check local listings for details.
“We had a great team win tonight. We stuck together and did not get individual, which was great to see. Obviously, the tides have changed a little bit from our [pre-tournament] game, so we have to manage our expectations; tomorrow is a new day, we will celebrate for a few minutes and get ready for [Sweden]. We have to get a good cooldown in; there are lots of families here which is super exciting, but taking care of our bodies, hydrating and getting a good rest is most important.”
• Head coach Courtney Birchard-Kessel (Mississauga, Ont,/Princeton University, ECAC) on preparing for Sweden.
“Compared to our pre-tournament game (a 4-3 loss to Finland), we took high-quality shots and had a lot of good scoring chances. The energy was insane; even before the game I had a good feeling about today. As the shots come in, it is motivation [for me]. In the second period, when I got some shots, it put me back in the game. It is pretty amazing [to get a shutout], not that I was not expecting it, but it is a dream come true for me.”
• Leblanc on posting a shutout.
“It is one of the most amazing feelings I have ever had, scoring my first goal, but it is also not what the game was all about. It was a really good team game and important for us to get the first win. I have never been overseas like this before, so seeing the different culture and experiencing it with all of my new friends is amazing. Having a good recovery, good sleep and a positive attitude will help us get ready for [Sweden].”
• Graham on scoring her first international goal.
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