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Hockey Maddi Wheeler’s overtime goal leads Canada to gold medal at women’s under-18 world hockey championship

Maddi Wheeler scored in overtime as Canada defeated the United States 3-2 on Sunday to win its fifth under-18 women’s world hockey championship.

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

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

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Danielle Serdachny gave Canada an early 1-0 lead, picking up the rebound of an Alexie Guay shot from the point. Julia Gosling also earned 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. Anne Cherkowski tied the game 2-2 with less than nine minutes remaining after being set up by Gosling and Serdachny.

“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. “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 finished with 25 saves in the win and earned the tournament’s most valuable player honours.

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