New Zealand Win Gold at Under 18 Women’s World Championship

New Zealand Win Gold at Under 18 Women’s World Championship

The New Zealand Women’s Under 18 ice hockey team finished top of the table, securing a gold medal at their International Ice Hockey Federation Division II B world championship event in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The team won four out of five of their tournament games and will now be promoted to division II A.

Tied at a provisional first equal heading in to their final game, the Kiwis needed to win against Bulgaria to guarantee a first place result.

The host nation wouldn’t make it easy for New Zealand, with both teams scoring back and forth throughout the game. Tied 2-2 at the beginning of the third period, New Zealand #15 Eden Greaves scored on the powerplay, giving New Zealand a 3-2 lead with four and a half minutes remaining. Bulgaria however were still in the fight, scoring just two minutes later, leaving the championship deciding game at 3-3 with just two and a half minutes left.

With just under two minutes remaining, the New Zealand team decided to pull their goalie, giving them an extra player advantage on the ice – an advantage that immediately paid off, with the team scoring just a few seconds later thanks to #4 Jess Ryall, now leading the game 4-3. With goaltender #1 Zadia Paulse now back in the crease, New Zealand defended against Bulgaria’s final challenges, maintaining the 4:3 lead and winning the game.

VIDEO – New Zealand #4 Jess Ryall scores the game winning goal. // Footage courtesy of Sportway.
VIDEO – The moment New Zealand win gold, at the conclusion of their final game. // Footage courtesy of Sportway.
New Zealand finished the tournament with further accolades, with players Nerhys Gordon (9+3) and Polly Bennetts (7+5) the top two scoring leaders at the tournament. Goaltender Zadia Paulse finished second at the tournament with a save percentage of 92.44 and a 2.25 GAA.
Previous NZ Senior Men’s (Ice Blacks) National Team Selection

Our Partners

© New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation 2024