Wow. The gold medal game in the 2020 IIHF U18 World Championships was a thriller. Over 10,000 people tuned in to the stream for the overtime period.
For the 12th time in 13 years, the US and Canada met in the final game of the eight-team tournament. Canada came in as the top spot in Group A, going undefeated. The US’s only preliminary loss was to Canada. As the top two teams in Group A, they had a bye though the quarterfinals. Canada beat Finland while the US defeated Russia to set up the final.
USA GOAL by Abbey Murphy at 5:22 in the first period while on the power play
With just about five minutes left in the first period and the US on their second straight power play, Murphy grabbed the loose puck in the middle of the ice and scored the first goal of the night.
CANADA GOAL by Sarah Paul at 14:02 in the third period while on the power play
After a scoreless second period, the US killed the penalty they started the period on before picking up another. Canada, who had been 0-3 on the power play thus far, took advantage at the very end as Sarah Paul picked up a nice pass from Ann-Frederik Naud to tie the game.
USA GOAL by Kiara Zanon with three minutes left in overtime
For the first time, the gold medal game would not be decided by a shootout no matter what. The IIHF changed its rules so the final game will always be played out, with 20 minute 3-on-3 periods until a winner is decided.
It was a goalie battle for a large majority of the period, with both goaltenders making huge saves. But in the end, a bit of pressure at the blue line by Zanon lead to a 2-0 with her and Maggie Nicholson.
This was the US’s eighth gold medal at U18.
The rest of the tournament
Russia won the bronze medal, beating Finland, 6-1 earlier in the day. This was their third bronze medal in history. Kristina Glukhareva scored a hat trick in the game.
Sweden came in 5th place, beating the Czech Republic in their final game, 1-0.
Slovika was relegated after Switzerland beat them in a best-of-3 series (4-1, 2-1).