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Ice Hockey - 08. January 2011.

U.S. Women's Nat'l U18 Team Advances to Gold-Medal Game

Team USA to Face Canada for Gold Medal Tomorrow

STOCKHOLM - Haley Skarupa (Rockville, Md.) and Layla Marvin (Warroad, Minn.) each posted a hat trick in leading the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team to a 14-1 win over the Czech Republic in the semifinal round of the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's U18 Championship here tonight at Stora Mossen Arena. With the win, Team USA (4-0-0-0) advances to tomorrow's gold-medal game against Canada at 1 p.m. ET.
"At the start of the game, we weren't quite ourselves," said Jodi McKenna, head coach for Team USA. "After the first period, we remembered who we are and what it takes to be successful and we were able to do that for the rest of the game. We are looking forward to the opportunity to play for the gold medal and we know we're going to have to play our best to be successful against Canada."

Skarupa netted her first goal of the tournament at 6:52 of the first period when she knocked in her own rebound from the goal line on the left side of the Czech net. Just :07 later, the Czechs retaliated with a tally from Denisa Krizova, which marked the first goal scored against Team USA goaltender Megan Miller (Long Grove, Ill.) in the tournament.

The 1-1 score held until the closing minutes of the opening frame when Milicia McMillen (St. Paul, Minn.) forced a turnover in the neutral zone and got the puck across the blue line to Karley Sylvester (Warroad, Minn.), who passed it back to McMillen in the left faceoff circle. McMillen took a low shot that Marvin tipped in the net at 18:47.

The Americans exploded for five goals in the middle period to open their lead to 7-1. Marvin netted her second of the game at 2:49 after Sylvester sent her a pass from the end boards. Amanda Boulier (Watertown, Conn.) was next to score, as she circled through the neutral zone, skated into the Czech zone, wound up and took a slap shot from the right point to beat Czech goalie Lenka Craigova high stick side at 7:00. Skarupa grabbed her second of the game at 9:27, followed by goals from Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) and Emily Field (Littleton, Mass.) at 12:49 and 14:28.

The U.S. piled on seven additional goals in the final stanza. Abby Ness (Roseau, Minn.) scored at 3:50, followed by a McMillen goal at 4:54. Skarupa and Marvin completed their hat tricks at 8:53 and 10:40, before Team USA notched two power-play goals at 15:57 and 18:59 from Paige Savage (Carrollton, Texas) and Ness. Sydney Daniels (Southwick, Mass.) closed out the scoring at 19:06.

Miller made six saves in the winning effort, while Craigova stopped 47 for the Czechs.

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photos Janos Schmidt 

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