Weeks, days, hours and minutes go by and we narrow our focus as we approach the IIHF Women's World Championship and aim to win a gold medal. From the moment we stepped off the plane at JFK airport in New York City, our focus has been winning a gold medal. For some players, that plane ride was over two weeks ago, while others, the college players competing in the Frozen Four, progressively arrived in New York City transitioning their focus from a National Championship to a World Championship. As each player arrived there was a sense of fulfillment that the squad was coming together.
When we were training in Long Island, we skated twice a day for an hour and fifteen minutes each. We completed a series of testing requirements in a very nice and clean weight room. During our practices, boys from local teams came out and joined us. Let me tell you, by the end of the week, I don’t think they were very happy with us because we treated them like they were on the team and there was no mercy even if there was no ponytail.
Finally the week of training camp came to an end and we were off to another city and another airport, this time Newark, New Jersey. During our bus ride to the airport, the tour guide for the back of the bus, Molly Schaus, was busy responding to, “Schausy, what is that one, and this one?” “Are we in New Jersey, yet?” “Did you know, 432 Park Ave will be the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere once the construction is completed and to live on the 94th floor it would only cost $82,500,000!!!”
As we approached the airport, everyone was anxious to see if they were in the window, aisle, or the worst, the middle seat for the flight. They always say you can’t win ‘em all! But, this time we did. We were upgraded to business class. For someone like me who is 5’2, a business class seat is pretty much a bed.
Upon our arrival to Copenhagen, the eyelids were super glued open and we were off to Malmo. One of the nicest parts about the bus ride was the casual wave at the boarder control officers when going into to Sweden from Denmark. No need to stop and show your passport going from country to country. Nice!
We got to Sweden and were welcomed with open arms and a hydration test. (Kacey Bellamy has the record for most hydration wins).
After a few days of practices, it did not take long to realize everyone in Malmo is willing to help, they all speak English, and crazy enough there is this bike called edacity where you can take a bike and leave a bike as needed. Overall, everyone adapted well to the time zone change. After feeling good and being adapted to the six-hour time zone change from training camp, we were thrown a challenge. Day light savings here in Sweden occurred in the middle of the tournament. We lost another hour, but gained our second win to Finland. After back-to-back games, we had a practice day where we were able to relax before taking on the Russians. After a 9-2 victory to Russia, we earned a bye through the quarters, which resulted in a day off and a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark.
Taking the train to Denmark was a neat experience. I sat next to a lady that was heading to the airport for, ‘a quick trip to Barcelona to drink wine’. For us Midwesterners, a quick trip would be to another state. As for our time in Denmark, there were a lot of laughs, shopping, good food, erratic weather, and a birthday (Anne Schleper’s Mom).
Today was another practice day and most importantly a day to refocus on our initial goal. When this journey began over two weeks ago in our country, we aimed for winning a gold medal, and that's exactly what we hope to do.
Stay tuned and wish us luck in the semifinal game and the rest of the way!
FUSSEN, Germany – Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) scored 6:47 into overtime andAlex Rigsby (Delafield, Wis.) made 38 saves in net to lift the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team to a 3-2 victory over Canada and secure the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's U18 Championship title here tonight at the Fussen Arena. Team USA finished the tournament with a 4-1-0-0 record (W-OTW-OTL-L) to defend its world title.
"It's an exciting day for USA Hockey," said Team USA Head Coach Mark Johnson, who is also the head women's ice hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin. "Anytime you get to play for a championship, it's special, but when it's a world championship, it's that much better. The players, support staff and everyone involved with the team played their role and did things very well and the end result is bringing home the trophy."
After playing to a scoreless draw during the majority of a physical, back-and-forth first period, Team USA broke onto the scoreboard at the 18:14 mark to take a 1-0 lead.Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) took a shot from the slot and after Canadian netminder Roxanne Douville made the initial save, Brittany Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) found the loose puck and slapped it in from the left doorstep.
Team USA extended its lead to 2-0 in the early part of the second frame when Taylor Wasylk (Port Huron, Mich.) knocked the puck in from the left post after a scramble in front of Canada's net at 4:28. The two-goal U.S. advantage lasted through to 18:35 of the period when Melodie Daoust put in a rebound just after the Canadians had been on the power play for four straight minutes.
A tic-tac-toe play by Canada at 12:37 of the third stanza resulted in Jessica Wong scoring the game-tying goal that forced a 20-minute 4-on-4 sudden-death overtime session.
In the extra period, just after Canada was whistled for hooking, Coyne rushed in on Douville and shot the puck into the top left corner at 6:47.
NOTES: Kendall Coynewas named U.S. Player of the Game ... Canada held the 40-32 shots advantage ... The United States was 1-for-6 on the power play, while holding Canada scoreless on seven attempts ... The United States swept the Directorate Awards, with Amanda Kessel earning the Top Forward award, Alev Kelterbeing named Top Defenseman and Alex Rigsby garnering Top Goaltender accolades ... Coyne, Brianna Decker and Kessel were named the top three players for Team USA ... Team USA outscored opponents by a 58-4 margin in the tournament ... Kessel led the tournament with 19 points (6-13) in five games. Coyne finished second with 15 points (8-7) ... Joining Mark Johnson on the coaching staff as assistant coaches were Katie King, head women’s ice hockey coach at Boston College, and Jeff Giesen, head women’s ice hockey coach at St. Cloud State University.
Scoring By Period
USA 1 1 0 1 -- 3
CAN 0 1 1 0 -- 2
First Period - Scoring: 1, Ammerman (Decker), 18:14. Penalties: USA, Kelter (body checking), 10:11; USA, Packer (slashing), 11:00; CAN, Lacquette (roughing), 11:00; CAN, Kingsbury (tripping), 13:51.
Second Period - Scoring: 2, USA, Wasylk (Coyne, Bozek), 4:28; 3, CAN, Daoust (Poulin), 18:35. Penalties: CAN, Frykas (tripping), 5:58; USA, Mangene (holding), 6:12; USA, Kenyon (slashing), 14:26; USA, Kessel (slashing), 16:21; USA, Kelter (misconduct), 18:16.
Third Period - Scoring: 4, CAN, Wong (Fratkin, Campbell), 12:37. Penalties: CAN, Fratkin (interference), :16; USA, Bolden (body checking), 4:56; CAN, Langan (roughing), 7:25; USA, Bolden (tripping), 8:36; CAN, McKeough (interference), 13:58; USA, Wasylk (slashing), 15:59.
Overtime - Scoring: 5, USA, Coyne (Bozek), 6:47. Penalties: CAN, Fratkin (hooking), 6:24.
Shots by Period 1 2 3 OT Total
USA 13 9 3 7 32
CAN 10 18 10 2 40
Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 OT Total
USA, Rigsby, 60:00 10-10 18-17 10-9 2-2 40-38
CAN, Douville, 60:00 13-12 9-8 3-3 7-6 32-29
Power Play: USA 1-6; CAN 0-7
Penalties: USA 9-26; CAN 7-14
Officials: Referee-Erin Blair (USA); Linesmen-Annika Floeden (SWE), Michaela Kudelova (SVK)