U18 Women’s Worlds, and a link round up!
U18 Women’s Worlds:
So the 2014 U18 Women’s Worlds wrapped up yesterday, with Canada taking gold for the third year in a row. There’s a write up of the game (a rough, 1-5 loss for the US) over at the IIHF website if you’re interested in checking that out. (My off the cuff summary is that the US started out strong and then defensively collapsed in the late second, and never got it back. A sadly depressing trend for the US there.)
A couple other notable take-aways from the U18 Women’s Worlds:
The Czech Republic and Russia played for bronze, with the Czech Republic eventually winning 1-0 in a tightly fought game. I was very impressed by Russia’s defense in this game– especially when my main memory of the Russian Olympic team’s defense was the lack of structure and a lack of control in their own zone. If this is the future wave of Russian players, I’m looking forward to see that progression. (This is also the first time Russia’s made it into a medal game at the U18 WW, hopefully speaking to an increase in investment in developing their players.)
Notably, the Czech Republic’s goal tender, Klara Peslarova, was selected by the Directorate as the best goaltender of the tournament. Other selections by the Directorate include the US’ Jincy Dunne as the best defender, and Taylar Cianfarano, also of the US, as the best forward.
- You’ll be hearing more from us about the NCAA Championship shortly, but Gabriella Fundaro of The Hockey Writers wrote an interesting article about Clarkson, and how we look at success in hockey.
- Rebecca Ruiz talks about her experience with concussions in women’s sport. This is a soccer player, talking about her experience in soccer culture, but it raises some real concerns about how we treat concussions, not just in sport, but in women’s sport particularly, where athletes do not have the support structures that the men do. (Warning, I have some concussion history, and Ruiz’s description of her concussion was very unpleasant for me. Well worth reading, but I had to take a moment.)
- Ian Kennedy of the Chatham-Kent Sports Network wrote about Where Women’s Hockey Can Go Next. Kennedy spoke with several Chatham-Kent women players about what they would like to see in the development of the women’s game. One of the more interesting things to me was the idea of a developmental league like the OHL or CHL, or the possibility of expanding the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (the PWHL is a league for juniors-aged women players) beyond Ontario. I think there would have to be something for them to want to get to, however, beyond college or international play that’s only paid attention to every four years– a league that could sustain a career. (And then we get into chicken or the egg argument, sigh.)
- Women’s Hockey Stats has the stats behind this year’s CWHL Awards winners. I’d second Ott as a better choice than Brian for Goaltender of the Year, stats-wise. I’ve GOT to track down a copy of the Awards Ceremony, maybe they explain there a bit more. Are we missing something in terms of community involvement? I just don’t know.
- Speaking of goalies, Inside Halton did an article on how Kessler backed the Toronto Furies to their first Clarkson Cup.