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March 31, 2014

Under-18 women fall to Canada, win silver medal

Early in the third period of the gold medal game of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Women’s World Junior Championships, Marblehead native Lexie Laing scored to give Team USA some life.

The Americans still trailed Canada by two goals, and they weren’t able to get any closer as Canada pulled away for a 5-1 win. It was the third straight women’s world junior gold for Canada, and a second silver medal for Laing, who was also on Team USA last year.

“It kind of stings, but to win a silver with group like this is amazing,” Laing said via a video posted on the USA Hockey Web site. “We came together in short time and left everything on the ice.”

Canada grabbed a 3-0 lead with a strong second period, and Laing’s goal came 2:45 into the third. With her team on a 5-on-3 power play, she centered the puck toward goal and it hit a body in front and found its way by the goalie to make it 3-1.

Team USA had another power play chance and couldn’t convert while Canada extended their lead with 4:37 to go and followed that up with an empty net tally.

“I’m very proud of them. They were a coach-able, awesome group. They’re very talented. I’m proud and honored to be able to coach them,” Beverly native Jeff Kampersall, who coaches Princeton and coaches the Under-18 women for USA Hockey, said via the organization. “It hasn’t been the ideal ending these last two years, but I’ll always remember the journey each year.”

Saturday, Team USA defeated the Czech Republic, 3-1, in the semifinals of the tournament being held in Budapest, Hungary. Lynn native Katie Burt made eight saves to earn her second win of the tourney.

Laing, who is committed to play at Harvard University, was selected as one of Team USA’s most outstanding forwards of the tournament by the American coaches.

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