International Ice Hockey Federation

French fly to Canada

French fly to Canada

Hosts earn promotion to U18 Women’s Worlds

Published 27.11.2015 06:07 GMT-5 | Author Martin Merk
French fly to Canada
The French women’s U18 national team celebrates the Division I win and promotion to the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Canada. Photo: Yann Cornu
France will for the first time ever compete at the top division of an IIHF women’s hockey tournament.

The French U18 women’s national team was promoted after winning the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division I on home ice in Vaujany.

The French ended the tournament with five wins and zero losses, outshooting their opponents in every game and outscoring their opponents 21-9.

During the past six years the French women’s U18 national team won four Division I medals but never managed to earn promotion to the top division. This time, in her seventh year in IIHF competition with the team, head coach Nolwenn Rousselle led the team to gold.

2016 will mark the first year France will have a women’s team compete in the top division when the U18 Women’s Worlds will be held in St. Catharines in the Canadian province of Ontario. Potentially up to ten players will be eligible to return from this year’s squad.

The major step to gold for the “Bleuettes” was taken on the first day when the French beat their fiercest rival and tournament runners-up Norway 2-1 in a shootout. Estelle Duvin scored the 1-0 goal on a power play and was also the only one of the six shooters who succeeded in putting the puck in the net during the shootout. Andrine Furulund scored the equalizer for Norway.

The French followed up with an 8-3 victory over Slovakia and edging Germany 4-3 with two Chloe Aurard goals and a 5-1 win against Austria with a Duvin hat trick. The Dunkerque Corsaires forward was the dominating forward with nine goals and four assists in five games.

The only thing the French needed on the last day was at least one point against Hungary, the team that came down to Division I after two years in the top division and hosting last year’s U18 Women’s World Championship in Budapest.

It wasn’t an easy task as Kinga Jokai-Szilagyi gained the lead for the Hungarians after less than five minutes of play. The Hungarians managed to defend their net until Jade Vix tied the game at 16:15 of the second period to make the 730 hometown fans in Vaujany celebrate. It was the Strasbourg Etoile Noir forward who scored again with five minutes left in regulation time to lead her team to a 2-1 win and secure promotion.

Norway recovered well from the opening day loss against the hosts and remained in the race for promotion until the last day with wins over Hungary (3-0), Austria (3-2), Slovakia (5-4 in a shootout) and Germany (5-4) but had to settle for silver.

Slovakia earned the bronze medals ahead of Germany. The Hungarians were far from their best this year and finished in fifth place with just two wins. For Austria the tournament ended winless and in last position.

Final Standings:
1. France 14 (promoted)
2. Norway 12
3. Slovakia 7
4. Germany 6
5. Hungary 6
6. Austria 0 (relegated)

Individual Awards as selected by the tournament directorate:
Best Goaltender: Emilie Kristiansen, Norway
Best Defenceman: Lenka Curmova, Slovakia
Best Forward: Estelle Duvin, France

Click here for scores and statistics.


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