France, Sweden get off to quick starts at Girls tournament
The U14 Girls World Selects Invitational kicked off on Wednesday in Chamonix, France. Twelve teams from nine countries are competing for the chance to be crowned world champions. All participating teams have two games under their belts after the first day of action. Here’s some of the biggest headlines out of the tournament thus far.
Hesselvall helps Sweden off to hot start
The Sweden Selects made a major statement in their first two contests of the preliminary round. Facing off against Midwest Prospects and Draft Day — two North American-based clubs — Sweden outscored them both by a combined 10-2. A major reason for that offensive explosion was the dependable two-way play of Ebba Hesselvall. Facing a 1-0 deficit after the first period against Midwest, Emma Holmberg tied things up 18 seconds into the second. Hesselvall would score her first two goals following that to secure a 3-1 win. Not done there, Hesselvall kicked off the scoring in the club’s second game of the day; an eventual 7-1 win over DraftDay. She would add three assists as well, ending the day atop the leaderboard with three goals and six points.
France display’s incredible defense
If the Sweden Selects were all about offense, France was all about defense in its first two matchups of the U14 WSI. Italy Selects and Pro Hockey squads were unable to solve the incredibly tight defense of France, as both were shutout 2-0. Italy was only able to produce three shots on goal, while Pro Hockey managed 14. Of the seven players to record at least one point thus far, three hailed from the dependable blue line corps of France. Leana Galibert, Domitille Ratto and Naïs Vala Viaux all collected assists. Adding to the team’s scoring depth are Maëlie Moussier and Gabrielle Roussel. Both forwards are tied for the team lead in points with two apiece.
Krushelniski caps off comeback win with OT winner
The North American Prospects were down 2-1 in the second period to the Finland Selects and needed a big play to even the score. Just over three minutes after Finland’s second goal, Jaiden Krushelniski found the back of the net to tie the game. That pushed the game to overtime, where Krushelniski would again beat goaltender Peppi Kontio for her second goal of the game. That secured the victory for North American Prospects.
In the team’s second game against Swiss Selects, Krushelniski kicked off the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period. She would add her fourth of the tournament with an insurance goal in the second period to complete a 3-0 shutout win. One of the best goal scorers so far, it will be interesting to see how long Krushelniski can continue her torrid scoring rate.
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