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Kirk backstops Canada to gold at U18 world championship

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 01/13/2019 10:36 AM

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The community of Ste. Anne has produced yet another women's world hockey champion.

Ste. Anne's Raygan Kirk made 25 saves as she backstopped Team Canada to a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over the USA early Sunday morning at the 2019 IIHF U18 Women`s World Hockey Championship in Japan.

It was Canada's fifth gold medal at the U18 world championships, but it is the first time Canada has won the prestigious event in five years.

Kirk, who was also in net for Canada's 4-3 overtime victory over Russia in the semi-finals, made 10 key saves in the third period in the gold medal game against the Americans.

The Americans nearly ended the game in regulation with a flurry of scoring chances in the dying seconds of the third, but Kirk stood tall and turned them all aside to get the game to overtime.

All three of Canada's goals came on the powerplay, including the winner from Maddie Wheeler just 1:34 into extra time.

And while Kirk was away in Japan winning a world championship, her regular team back home , the Eastman Selects were taking care of business as they blanked the Central Plains Capitals 4-0 in the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League Saturday at Portage. Emma Plett was providing a little magic of her own stopping all 25 shots she faced to post the shutout.

Kirk will rejoin Plett and the Selects in the coming days and it should make for quite a goaltending duo as the regular season winds down as the defending champion Selects will try to win their second straight MFMHL crown.

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