Image from USA Hockey

Five Michigan natives win gold with Team USA at Under-18 Women’s World Championship


By @MichaelCaples –

They needed overtime to do it, but the Americans beat their main rival in the title game of the Under-18 Women’s World Championship today in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Kiara Zanon (Fairport, N.Y.) scored with 3:08 remaining in the first overtime period to give the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team a 2-1 victory in the concluding contest.

With the win, Team USA has won gold at the major international tournament in five of the last six seasons.

Michigan was well-represented on the Under-18 Team roster, as there were five players hailing from the Great Lakes State:

  • Emma Gentry – Forward – Alpena – HoneyBaked
  • Callie Shanahan – Goaltender – Commerce – HoneyBaked
  • Kirsten Simms – Forward – Plymouth – Selects Academy
  • Amanda Thiele – Goaltender – Milford – Belle Tire
  • Clara Van Wieren – Forward – Okemos – Shattuck St. Mary’s

Here are the highlights:

Team USA avenged their lone tournament loss with a win over Canada; their rivals took the final preliminary-round game on Dec. 29 by the same 2-1 score.

After beating Finland in their tournament opener, the U.S. beat Russia twice and Canada once en route to the title.

A look at the Michigan girls’ statistics:

  • Gentry finished with one goal and a +2 rating in the tournament.
  • Simms had two assists and a +3 rating overall.
  • Van Wieren picked up one assist and a +3 rating.
  • Thiele recorded 35 saves in her time between the pipes.