International Ice Hockey Federation

Off-day notes at WW18

Off-day notes at WW18

Attendance records will be shattered

Published 10.01.2016 10:21 GMT-5 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Off-day notes at WW18
ST. CATHARINES, CANADA - JANUARY 8: Canadian fans cheering on their team during preliminary round action against Russia at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/HHOF-IIHF Images)
The WW18 is nicely under way, but with a day off today, the break gives us a chance to reflect on happenings so far.

--After only two full days of play, it’s clear St. Catharines will shatter all attendance records for WW18. The single-game mark has already been improved upon twice, and the tournament record of 17,480 from the Czech Republic in 2012 will fall on Monday (we are currently at 14,220 through only eight games). The gold-medal game is looking like a sellout, meaning that the single-game number will likely be revised at least once more this tournament.

--There are six 14-year-olds at this year’s event. Camille Kahra (FIN) will turn 15 next month, and France has three players among this youthful sextet: Margot Roquette (15 in May), Louanne Mermier (15 in February), and Eloise Jure (15 in April). But they aren’t the youngest. That distinction goes to Nicole Vallario (SUI) who won’t be 15 until August. Her teammate, Janine Hauser, will turn 15 in May.

--Although video review is not often used at the WW18, it is here because the Meridian Centre is home to the Niagara Ice Dogs of the OHL and is fully equipped to handle video review.  Case in point, Canada had a goal disallowed last night against the Czechs after review showed a Canadian had kicked the puck into the net.

--At 6' (1.84 m), Russian goaltender Valeria Tarakanova is the tallest player at this year's tournament. She also set a record by appearing in her 11th WW18 game last night, and she is on the cusp of setting another record, for most minutes played by a goaltender in WW18 play. She is currently at 526:08 and the all-time leader is Sophie Anthamatten (SUI) with 589:30.

--The Czech Republic are in a “now or never” situation for most of the players. They have some 16 returnees from last year’s fourth-place team, so this could/should be their year for a medal. The Swiss have 12 returning players, the Russians and Swedes 11. France have nine players from last year’s victorious Division I team, the U.S. seven from its gold-medal team, Finland six, and Canada only three—Kristin O’Neill, Ryleigh Houston, and Lindsay Agnew.

--There is only one player listed as 6’ (1.84 m) tall in this tournament (Tarakanova). At the other end, the shortest are 5’ (1.53 m) French forward Margaux Dufayard and the aforementioned Vallario.

--Scoring has been on the decline at the last four WW18. In 2012, teams averaged 6.59 goals a game, but that number has dropped consistently to 6.33, 5.29, and 4.81 last year. More than having trouble scoring, though, it’s an indicator of greater parity. In 2012, there were eight shutouts, then nine in 2013, seven in 2014, and only five last year.


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