Wheeler’s OT goal gives Canada U-18 ti­tle

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OBI­HIRO, JA­PAN—Maddi Wheeler scored in over­time as Canada de­feated the United States 3-2 on Sun­day to win its fifth un­der-18 women’s world hockey cham­pi­onship.

Wheeler, from Erinsville, Ont., drove hard to the net and jammed home her own re­bound just 1:34 into over­time, giv­ing Canada its first world ti­tle since 2014.

“I picked the puck up in the neu­tral zone, (Ken­dall Cooper) passed it off to me. We were on a 4-on-3 power play so I had some space,” said Wheeler. “I drove wide and picked up my own re­bound. We had a good net drive, so it was wide open.”

Danielle Ser­dachny gave Canada an early 1-0 lead, pick­ing up the re­bound off an Alexie Guay point shot. Ju­lia Gosling also earned an as­sist on the goal.

The United States tied the game late in the sec­ond pe­riod be­fore tak­ing a 2-1 lead just over six min­utes into the third. Anne Cherkowski tied the game 2-2 with less than nine min­utes re­main­ing af­ter be­ing set up by Gosling and Ser­dachny.

“We are in­cred­i­bly proud of our team’s ef­fort and our ath­letes’ abil­ity to over­come ad­ver­sity when we found our­selves trail­ing in the game,” said Cana­dian coach Howie Draper. “It’s a great feel­ing to win a world cham­pi­onship and bring a gold medal back to Canada, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Goal­tender Ray­gan Kirk had with 25 saves in the win and was named the tour­na­ment MVP.

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The Cana­dian un­der-18 women’s hockey team cel­e­brates its gold-medal vic­tory at the world cham­pi­onship on Sun­day in Obi­hiro, Ja­pan. Canada de­feated the U.S. 3-2 in OT.

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