Kimberly Newell stopped 39 shots against rival USA in a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory to lock Canada to a first-place finish at the U18 world championship in Heinola, Finland Jan. 5.
The Americans did not allow a single goal in four games until the last 13 seconds of the gold-medal final.
After a first-period goal against Canada, the USA led 1-0 until Catherine Dubois scored with 13 seconds left in regulation time. The blink-of-an-eye goal was followed by another. Less than a minute into overtime, Karly Heffernan of St. Albert, Alta. scored the game-winner to give Canada its second consecutive gold medal.
Coach Jim Fetter said the overtime break was tense but that staff tried to calm and focus the teenage players.
“We just talked about the process and what our goal was here, and a couple of other words in there,” Fetter told the Canadian Press. “We believed in them and [said] that it only took one shot. And obviously that's what happened.''
Canada was out-shot 20-1 in the first period and managed 25 shots, including the overtime game-winner. Although they got off to a slow start, the coach said Newell kept the score close.
“We didn't get a very good start. They kind of took it to us in the first period and we had great goaltending by Kimberly Newell,” Fetter said.
Newell, a resident of Burnaby, is a freshman at Princeton where she starts in net for the NCAA Tigers. The 18-year-old was the first female goaltender in the B.C. Major Midget League and played hockey for the Vancouver Thunderbirds before moving to the Burnaby Winter Club.