USA Hockey just came so, so very close to another gold medal at the U18 Women’s World Championships. The US absolutely dominated every team they played in this tournament through the first five games of this Championship, two of those games being wins over Canada both in the exhibition and prelim games. They started this thing with a close 3-1 win over Canada in an exhibition game on June 2nd. Sure it’s just a little warm-up that doesn’t count but it’s never a bad thing to start off with a W.
Once this tournament really got underway, the US was lighting up every goaltender they faced. They won 6-1 against Sweden in their first prelim game on June 6th and immediately followed that up with a 5-0 shutout against Finland the next night. They got a day to rest on the 8th before picking up where they left off by absolutely curb-stomping the Canadians 7-0 – a memory I am rather enjoying as I am seething with rage writing this.
The US outscored opponents 18-1 through their three preliminary games. 18 to 1. The only goal the US allowed was in Game One against Sweden. Then Annelies Bergmann tightened it up and didn’t let a goal in for the rest of the prelim games she played in. The only game she sat was in the 5-0 win against Finland when Ava McNaughton stepped in and posted an 11-save shutout.
Things seemed so perfect heading into the Gold Medal game. A re-match against the Canadians, who we shit kicked just a few days prior. We had a long list of players who are just a few short years away from being some of the best players to ever grace USA Hockey’s women’s team; Laila Edwards, Sydney Morrow, Tessa Janecke, Cassie Hall. After having this Championship canceled outright for almost two years, it was time to get back to some hockey we all know well, the US vs Canada in a Gold medal game.
But, much to my chagrin, the Canadians started stronger. By the time we were just over halfway through the second period, the Canadians had a 3-0 lead. The US only managed to get two goals back before coming just short of the Gold and losing this game 3-2 to take home the Silver medal. This US team deserved to come out with a Gold. After battling to even get this tournament to happen, then absolutely killing it the whole time, I wish they had enough gas left to win this last one. They really deserved it.
Laila Edwards, a soon-to-be Wisconsin Badgers’ forward, was named the tournament MVP, a shock to no one as she put up eight points (4G 4A) in just five games played. Sydney Morrow, a defender headed to Ohio State, also put up eight points in the tourney, one of which was a goal and the other seven assists. A lot of these players have bright futures with USA Hockey. They’re coming in as we’re seeing the first golden era of US women’s hockey slowly start to fade out. A lot of the players that have helped get USA Hockey where it is today are getting older and starting to retire, it’s great to see that the younger generation is in great hands. I mean, look at some of these US stats headed into tonight’s game:
The US comes home with the silver but that’s nothing to be sad about. They’re still building as players and people, they’re only between 16 and 18 years old. They didn’t even know if they would get a chance to play in these games considering the IIHF has been a bunch of asshat boneheads. They’ve tried countless times to cancel this tournament but these players and the fans said no, let these girls play. Let them get a chance at that gold medal, at that limelight that we shine on boys from the time they turn 15. These girls are going to be some of the key pieces to the future of women’s hockey. They’re inheriting what great players like Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Brianna Decker, and Cammi Granato have all been busting their asses to build for decades. They’re going to help find a way to make it even better for the generation that comes after them. And ain’t that the American Dream?
Find more at ham-sports.com
Visit our shop here
Tweet me @shortman_hams
Tweet us @ham_sports
Featured Image: USA Hockey's Twitter