Team skates to 8-0-0 run in Chamonix, France
A major reason why North America Prospects had been undefeated heading into the playoff round at the U14 Girls World Selects Invitational was goaltending. In our Round 1 recap, we looked at the performances of Bailey Unruh and Rylee Allison as two key factors in the success of the club. Throughout the playoffs, both Unruh and Allison continued their solid play to backstop NAP to a championship over the Sweden Selects.
In Sweden’s semifinal win against Minnesota Prospects, the team’s incredible scoring depth was on full display. Six different players found the back of the net, allowing them to take a 6-2 lead into the second period. Liv Heinicke took advantage of a power play opportunity to make it a three-goal deficit. However, Minnesota was unable to gain any momentum offensively other than that. Alice Nilson (1G, 2A), Ida Lindberg (2A) and Elsa Lake (2A) all collected two points for Sweden. With the win, Sweden guaranteed its spot in the final against North American Prospects.
After NAP defeated DraftDay 5-1 in the quarterfinals, France was the next opponent on their calendar. Despite having one of the best team defenses at the tournament, they were unable to contain the high-powered offense of NAP in a 4-2 loss. Things started well for France in the game, as Gabrielle Roussel opened the scoring 3:25 into the first period. Mia Skinner tied the game at 1-1, which is where things stood heading into the first intermission. Both squads exchanged goals in the early moments of the second half before NAP pulled away. Goals from Lily Martin and Maya Dutton secured the victory. Allison stopped 16 of 18 shots she faced between the pipes.
NAP edges Sweden in shootout for WSI championship
Sweden came out hot in the championship game, putting up two goals in just over a minute to take a 2-0 lead. Nova Krantz struck first at 11:25 before Emma Hesselvall netted her third of the playoffs. Hessselvall scored in all three of Sweden’s playoff matchups. Shortly after, NAP cut the lead in half when Melaina Struna found the back of the net. At 4:23 of the second period, Adrienne Erickson tied the game at 2 with a power-play goal. Despite outshooting Sweden 18-2 in the second, NAP was unable to find another goal. The championship would be decided in a shootout. Jaiden Krushelniski, who led NAP in the preliminary round with seven points, was the only shooter to score in the skills competition. Allison once more came up huge in net, making 22 saves.