BUDAPEST, Hungary - Lexie Laing (Marblehead, Mass.) scored a power-play goal and Erin O'Neil (Minnetonka, Minn.) made 27 saves, but the U.S. National Women's Under-18 Team fell to Canada, 5-1, in the gold-medal game of the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women's World Championship here today.
Laing collected the lone U.S. tally with a five-on-three power-play goal 2:45 into the third stanza. After gathering the puck on the left side, Laing's centering pass redirected off a skate in the slot and beat Canadian goaltender Shea Tiley.
Neither team was able to capitalize on several quality scoring chances through the first 30 minutes of action before Canada buried three times late in the second period to grab a 3-0 edge. Sarah Potowak scored a power-play marker when she tapped home a rebound at 15:04 and Eve-Audrey Picard converted on a hard shot from the top of the circles at 16:12. The Canadians extended the lead to 3-0 with just 1:26 to play in the middle frame when Samantha Cogan skated in all-alone and slid a shot through O'Neil's five-hole.
Following Laing's goal and a handful of U.S. chances that were snuffed out by Tiley, Picard put Canada up, 4-1, at 15:23 of the third period, and Potowak scored an empty-netter at 17:51 to close the scoring.
The U.S. National Women's Under-18 Team finished the tournament with a 4-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and captured its seventh straight medal in the IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship.
NOTES: Taylar Cianfarano was named the tournament's top forward and Jincy Dunne the best defenseman by the directorate ... Cianfarano, Dunne, and Lexie Laing were named Team USA's three best players in the tournament ... Laing was named U.S. Player of the Game.