Road to gold goes through USA

Defending champs back in championship game

PSG Arena Zlin  Czech Republic

Kate Flug (11) and the rest of the US U18 women's team will try to win their fourth championship and second straight in tomorrow's gold medal game. Photo: Phillip MacCallum / HHOF-IIHF Images

USA - Germany 7 - 1 (3 - 1, 1 - 0, 3 - 0) Game Sheet, Photos 

ZLIN – Leaning on their talented forwards, the Americans held off Germany 7-1 to win the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship semi-final. Captain Alex Carpenter scored the game-winning goal in the first period as the American offence proved too much for the Germans to handle. Team USA will defend their gold medal against either Canada or Sweden in Saturday’s championship game. Tournament scoring leader Hayley Skarupa scored her tenth and eleventh goals of the championship. Carpenter chipped in a goal and two assists, while linemate Anne Pankowski notched four helpers in the victory.   Germany’s top scorer Kerstin Spielberger bagged her team’s lone goal of the game, tying the game midway through the first period after US forward Kate Flug opened the scoring. But the Germans’ offensive chances came few and far between following Spielberger’s goal, while goaltender Janina Fuchs faced down a barrage of American shots through the opening two periods as the US built a 4-1 lead.

"We came out in the first five minutes and played very well to set the pace," said Heather Linstad, head coach of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team. "We're gearing towards what we wanted to do by making it to the gold-medal game and playing well."

Flug’s second goal of the game came in the third period. following Skarupa’s and one from Maryanne Kennedy-Menefee to seal the game 7-1. The US will now try to make it four out of five gold medals won at the U18 in the championship game on Saturday. Germany meanwhile will be competing for the bronze medal against the loser of the Canada-Sweden semi-final. Germany has never won a medal in the women’s U18 championship, and will look to avenge their 3-0 opening game loss to the Finns. ADAM STEISS
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