Although Canada failed to make it to the final matchup, North Vancouver phenom Chloe Primerano shone through at the IIHF U18 World Women’s Championship.
The 17-year-old was named tournament MVP, top defender and all-star at the tournament, leading the scoring sheet with eight goals and eight assists, for a total of 16 points over six games.
But her efforts weren’t enough to send Team Canada – two-time defending champions – to the finals. On Saturday, the Canadians lost in a confounding 4-2 upset to Czechia in the semifinals, despite outshooting the Czechs 47-12 in the semifinal and defeating them 8-1 in the preliminary round.
After falling behind 2-0 early in the second period, Primerano broke the dry spell with a power play goal at 8:45 of the second frame. Canada would even the score early in the third with another goal from Morgan Jackson of Shawnigan Lake.
In a tense third period, Czechia took the lead again six minutes into the frame and Canada nearly tied it up when Primerano’s long shot was tipped by teammate Claire Murdoch but hit the post. Czechia scored an empty netter with 25 seconds left in the game.
Canada came back like a freight train for Sunday’s bronze medal game, dominating Finland 8-1. Primerano scored two goals and an assist in that game, setting records for most goals and points by a defender in a tournament. That’s after making history last week as the first defence player to score a hat trick at the event.
On her team not making the finals this year, Primerano said it taught them never to take any game for granted.
“You have to come out flying every game,” she told media after the bronze-medal game. “Every team is good in this tournament. Next year, we’ve got to come out and work as hard as we can and try to not let what happened this year happen again.”
The U.S. team won the tournament, besting Czechia 5-1.