Vernon’s Anne Cherkowski helped Canada win gold at the Women’s U18 World Hockey Championships in Japan. (Pursuit of Excellence photo)

Okanagan hockey product wins world championship

Anne Cherkowski scores equalizer in gold-medal final, Canada beats U.S. 3-2 in overtime

Vernon’s Anne Cherkowski can add ‘world champion’ to her hockey résumé.

For the first time in five years, Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team won gold at the International Ice Hockey Federation U18 Women’s World Championship, defeating the United States 3-2 in overtime on Sunday in Obihiro, Japan.

Maddi Wheeler (Erinsville, Ont.) drove hard to the net and jammed home her own rebound just 1:34 into overtime, giving Canada its fifth world title and first since 2014.

“I picked the puck up in the neutral zone, Coopsy [Kendall Cooper] passed it off to me. We were on a 4-on-3 power play so I had some space,” said Wheeler to Hockey Canada after. “I drove wide and picked up my own rebound. We had a good net drive, so it was wide open.”

Cherkowski forced overtime, tying the game 2-2 with less than nine minutes remaining, set up by Julia Gosling (London, Ont.) and Pursuit of Excellence teammate Danielle Serdachny (Edmonton).

RELATED: Anne Cherkowski of Vernon scores once as Canada advances

Canada jumped out to an early lead just under eight minutes in when Serdachny picked up the rebound of an Alexie Guay (Magog, Que.) shot from the point. Gosling also recorded an assist on the goal.

The United States tied the game late in the second period before taking a 2-1 lead just over six minutes into the third.

“We are incredibly proud of our team’s effort and our athletes’ ability to overcome adversity when we found ourselves trailing in the game,” said head coach Howie Draper of Edmonton. “It’s a great feeling to win a world championship and bring a gold medal back to Canada, and I couldn’t be more proud of our athletes and staff for this amazing accomplishment.”

Goaltender Raygan Kirk (Ste. Anne, Man.) finished with 25 saves in the win and earned tournament Most Valuable Player honours.

Following the gold medal game, the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship awards recipients were announced. Guay was named Top Defenceman and earned a spot on the all-star team, while Gosling, Serdachny and Kendall Cooper (Burlington, Ont.) were named the top three players for Canada.

Cherkowski and Serdachny teamed up to get Canada to the gold-medal match with a 4-3 overtime semifinal win against Team Russia.

“Julia [Gosling] dropped it down to the corner and Anne [Cherkowski] pinned the girl against the wall, so I just saw the opportunity to walk [out to the front of the net],” said Serdachny. “Their defence was in front of the net, and I just saw an opening and shot it.

“I think we all felt pretty nervous but we all had trust in each other that we could do it and we could win. Everyone was pretty excited [to get the win].”

Kirk turned aside 10 shots in the win.

Cherkowski is expected to arrive at Kelowna Airport around 9:30 p.m. Monday.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

NHL stars return to Kelowna for charity slo-pitch game

The Gorges/Comeau Homebase Chairty Tournament returns June 28

Motorbike rider taken to hospital following crash

The incident happened on Highway 97 near Leckie Road

Chilliwack man charged in crash that killed Kelowna pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Okanagan and Connector

Storms expected to develop this morning and intensify early in the afternoon

Kelowna RCMP launch crime reporting website

RCMP look to modernize police operations throughout the Okanagan

Suspicious Rutland car fire has one woman think it was targeted

A family who raised their voice against the McCurdy Road house has car torched, is it connected?

Olympic skier from B.C. suing Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Action imperative on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Chief commissioner into national inquiry encourages governments, private sector to act

B.C. senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger.’

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

COLUMN: Imagine the possibilities at the library

Programs at Summerland Library promote reading among children

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Massive red treble clef proposed to take over Shuswap

Idea is to pay tribute to artisans in the community

Straight from Dehart

Restauranteur opens second business in Kelowna

Most Read