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U.S. National Women's U18 Team Takes Home Silver Medal at IIHF U18 Women's Worlds

03/30/2014, 2:15pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

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.


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Going cross-ice in Canada

03/27/2017, 3:15pm MDT
By USA Hockey

March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.

This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.

“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”

The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.

Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.

“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.

“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.

“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”

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