Three incoming UW women's hockey players competed for the U.S. and Canada in last week's 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Women's U-18 Championship in Stockholm, Sweden.
Karley Sylvester (Warroad, Minn.) won gold with the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team. Meanwhile, Katy Josephs (Calgary, Alberta) and Katarina Zgraja (Waterloo, Ontario) took home silver with Canada's National Women's Under-18 Team as Team USA defeated Canada, 5-2, in the championship. All three skaters have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Wisconsin and play hockey for the Badgers beginning in the 2011-12 season.
Team USA picked up its third gold medal in four years of the tournament, which features the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland in addition to Canada and the U.S.
Team USA captured gold in each of the first two years of the tournament (2008 and 2009), followed by a silver medal in 2010 when Canada earned gold.
The U.S. opened play with an 11-0 blanking of the Czech Republic, followed by a 7-1 win over Japan. Team USA then shut out Sweden, 1-0 to earn a place in the semifinal round.
Sylvester collected three assists in Team USA's 14-1 win over the Czech Republic in the semifinal round, including a helper on the game-winning goal. She added one more assist in the gold medal game to finish the tournament with six points on one goal and five assists.
Josephs and Zgraja delivered strong performances for Canada as well. Josephs earned four points on two goals and two assists, while Zgraja finished with two points on one goal and one assist.
Canada skated past Switzerland, 9-1, in its first game of the tournament as Josephs tallied two points on one goal and one assist. In its second preliminary round game, the Canadians knocked off Finland, 6-0, and Zgraja scored her lone goal of the tournament. Canada then cruised past Germany, 8-1.
In the semifinal round, Canada topped Finland, 6-1, to earn a place in the gold medal game against the U.S. In the championship game, Zgraja and Josephs teamed up to cut Canada's deficit to two at 4-2 at 17:33 of the second period. Zgraja found Josephs, who buried her second goal of the tournament, but Canada eventually fell to the U.S., 5-2.
Finland earned the bronze medal at the 2011 IIHF World Women's U-18 Championship, defeating the Czech Republic, 3-0, in the third-place game.
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