BUDAPEST, Hungary – After a nerve-racking 1-0 overtime victory over Russia in the semifinals, Canada's Under-18 National Team dominated the United States with a gold medal victory, 5-1, in the 2014 U-18 World Championship. Quinnipiac women's ice hockey associate head coach Cassie Turner helped guide the Canadians through the tourney run as one of the assistant coaches, traveling back to Hamden with her gold medal in-hand.
Team Canada stormed through preliminary round action, defeating Japan, Finland and the Czech Republic by a combined score of 19-1. Russia and their goalie Valeria Tarakanova (69 saves) proved an enormous challenge for Turner's squad on Saturday in the 1-0 overtime victory. The Canadians outshot the Russians, 64-22, through the first three periods before Lauren Wildfang finally poked home the game-winner at 3:09 in the overtime period.
After their dramatic win over Russia, the World Championship featured yet another matchup with their rivals in the United States. Both teams had gone undefeated up until the title game but Canada took command of the game with a three-goal second period to put away the 5-1 win over the United States. The 2014 IIFH Ice Hockey U-18 Women's World Championship victory gives the Canadians an edge over their rivals in the record books as Canada has now won four gold medals and the Americans have own three since the event's inception seven years ago.
Turner guided a dominating Canadian roster that outscored their opponents, 25-2, throughout the five-game gold medal run. Team Canada featured 10 different goal scorers throughout the five games and were led by Sarah Potomak (5-3-8) while Victoria Bach (4-3-7), Eve-Audrey Picard (4-2-6) and Wildfang (3-3-6) scored all five game-winning goals and led the team in points. The Canadian goaltenders were equally as dominate as Shea Tiley backstopped the goal medal victory over the United States (26 saves) and semifinal victory over Russia (24 saves) to finish the tournament with a 3-0 record, 0.33 GAA and .986 save percentage.
This was the fourth stint for Turner as a member of the coaching staff for Hockey Canada's National Development Teams. She had previous experience with this U-18 squad as she was on the staff for the U-18 National Team series between the United States back in Aug. 2013. Canada took two-out-of-three games against the United States in the three-game series held in Lake Placid.
Turner's experience also dates back to the 2011 IIHF U-18 Women's World Championship, with the U-22/Development Team in the summer of 2012 and winning a goal medal with Canada at the 2013 MECO Cup. Turner's success over the last 18 months with Team Canada has been quite successful as she has led the U-22 squad to a series victory over the United States in Aug. 2012, won the gold at the MECO Cup in Jan. 2013, recently won the Canada-USA series with the U-18 squad in Aug. 2013 and now adds a second gold medal and World Championship title to her resume with this victory in the 2014 World Championships.
(All Photos in Release Credited to Hockey Canada)
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