PRESS RELEASE: 2023 World Ringette Championships Day 6 – FINALS
Calgary, Alberta – November 4, 2023 – Welcome to the final day of the World Ringette Championships in Calgary. It’s medal day and you can feel the excitement at WinSport arena.
The day started with the Gold Medal Match in the President Pool. Team USA and Team Sweden were both in the hunt for the ultimate prize. Team USA has been strong in pool play, remaining undefeated as they made their way through the earlier part of the tournament. Sweden, having lost to the USA already, were keen to show what they can do in this final opportunity to beat the Americans. Alas, it was not to be today for the Swedes. The USA were just too strong and had amassed a 4 goal lead at half-time with Campbell Schnurr, Hilary Davidson and Cadence Pirtle (2) all finding the back of the net. The Americans kept the Swedes quiet in the 3rd quarter and managed to further extend their lead with Campbell Schnurr and Nyah Bodnarchuk scoring for the US. In the 4th, Ruuska finally got Sweden on the board with a rapid-fire goal, but with Schnurr and Bondarchuk scoring again in the 4th, the Americans were on their way to a very comfortable gold medal, downing the swedes by a score of 8-1.
Game MVPs were #30 from Sweden, Hanna Svehog and #82 from the USA, Haley Wickens. In this final game the team awards and pool awards are also handed out. Each team is presented with a ‘Team Award’. This is the award for the best player over the course of the whole tournament. For Czech Republic their goalie, #1 Katerina Dvoráková who had a wonderful tournament and made over 50 saves in every game she played. For Sweden it was their #10 Sabah Esmail with 3 goals and 6 assists over the course of the event. For team USA, their goalie Ashley Steele was chosen. Ashley made 65 saves and helped her team secure the gold medal. The final award is the ‘Pool award’, which identifies the best player of the entire pool. The Pool Award was presented to USA #44 Isabella Koppens. Isabelle notched 8 goals and 7 assists to help her team win gold.
The U18s also played their final international match of the week. Team Canada White faced off against Finland. Finland’s Siiri Lahtinen opened the scoring and Finland were leading by 4-2 at half time. Canada tied it up in the 3rd quarter with 3 unanswered goals from Dylan Pighin, Tessa Galandy and Tayte Arlinghaus to give Canada the lead. Finland scored again late in the 4th taking the game to 5-5. It was exciting right up until the final buzzer. Canada stole a bobbled pass at the blue line and Brianna Shupe scored for Canada with 1.8 seconds remaining on the clock, giving Canada White a 6-5 win.
The big draw of the night, of course, was Team Finland and Team Canada will rematch for gold following last night’s nail-biting tie. This series is a best-of-2. Best of 2? But what happens if the teams each win one? Ringette games in tournaments usually don’t end in a tie, but in this series, a tie is allowed. Game one ended in a tie, so we are back to square one and whoever wins tonight, wins it all. If the game tonight ends in a tie, there is a 15-minute mini-game added. If it is still tied after that, then then game moves to sudden death over time. So, it is really all to play for this evening in Calgary.
Finland opened the scoring as Meeri Lonka found the back of the Canadian net just 16 seconds after the first pass. From there, Emmi Juusela doubled Finland’s lead when she put one past the Canadian netminder Davies. Canada was feeling the pressure early, but towards the end of the first quarter Brianna Jacobi put Canada on the board with a quick goal, followed closely by another Canadian goal by Regan Meier to see Canada even up the score before seeing out the first quarter.
The second quarter started a little more slowly than the first, the Finns were piling on the pressure and Canada’s defense was absorbing it well. Both teams were displaying some great back-checking and staying strong on their lines. Finland kept the majority of the possession towards the end of the quarter, which eventually resulted in two Finnish goals right before half-time when Emmi Juusela scored her second and third of the night, putting her on a hat-trick inside the first-half.
The Canadians came out strong in the 3rd quarter. Finland took and early penalty which allowed Canada to take advantage of their power play, which they did as Manon Vautour puts away the ring to take Canada within one. Penalty trouble puts Canada into a 4 on 3 and Finland managed to regain their 2-goal lead as Meeri Lonka marks her second of the night. Finland extended their lead further when Julia Kangaskoski added herself to the scoring list for the night. Finland struck again when Meeri Lonka put another one past Davies, her third of the night.
Canada kept themselves in it. A quick end change and a mistake from the Finns, saw a goal from Laurence Lacombe give Canada a boost. But the Finns were right back at it. As soon as they arrived in Canada’s end, Julia Kangaskoski notched up her second goal of the night. And that’s how it would remain. Finland just too strong for the Canadians tonight as they went home with the gold medal from the World Ringette Championships by a score of 8-4. Canada will have to settle for the silver.
Game MVPs were #20 from Finland, Lotta Kujala and #44 from Canada, Regan Meier. The Team Award for Canada was to their #44 Regan Meier, who had a wonderful tournament overall and had 2 goals and 1 assists. For Finland it was their #10 Meeri Lonka with 5 goals and 4 assists over the course of the tournament. The final ‘Pool award’ was presented to Team Finland #7 Emmi Juusela. Emmi notched. 5 goals and 2 assists to help her team win gold and was a key player for Finland throughout.
For more information on the event, including links to rosters, schedules, standings and stats can be found at www.worldringettechampionship.com
If you want to find out more about ringette and where you can play, please visit ringette.ca