Canada finished first in Group A with a perfect 3-0 record in preliminary round play.
In Canada’s final game in opening round play at Arena Vierumäki, Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man./Pursuit of Excellence, Midget AAA) opened the scoring at 9:25 of the first period. Hanna Bunton (Belleville, Ont./Whitby, Provincial Women’s Hockey League) added another just 21 seconds later and Catherine Daoust (Île-Bizard, Que./Saint-Laurent, Collégial AA) scored her first international goal on a power play at 16:25 in the period.
Ashley Brykaliuk (Brandon, Man./Westman, MFMHL) scored at 5:37 in the second and Krzyzaniak notched another on a power play at 12:50. Nurse, who plays for Stoney Creek in the PWHL, made her contribution while Canada was shorthanded at 3:21 in the third and Hannah Miller (North Vancouver, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, JWHL) capped it off at 7-0 midway through the final frame.
Jessica Dodds (London/London, PWHL) earned her first international shutout.
Earlier in the preliminary round, Canada beat Hungary, 4-1, on Saturday (Dec. 29) and blanked Finland, 4-0, the next day. Finland finished in second, Hungary came in third and Germany took fourth place. In Group B, the United States finished in first, followed by Sweden, the Czech Republic and Russia.
Medal round games take place on Saturday, Jan. 5.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team is defending the gold medal at this year’s IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship. Captain Kristyn Capizzano, alternate captains Emily Clark and Krzyzaniak, along with Brykaliuk and Catherine Dubois (Quebec City, Que./Limoilou, Collégial AA), all return this year after winning the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Prerov and Zlin, Czech Republic. Dodds, Kristin Gilmour (Millgrove, Ont./Oakville, PWHL) and Nurse are making their Team Canada debuts.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team includes two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards. Seventeen players were members of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series against the U.S. Women’s Under-18 Team in August in Blaine, Minn., winning two of those games.