International Ice Hockey Federation

Patti C’s gold as goal

Patti C’s gold as goal

3-time U18er Marshall looking for repeat

Published 07.01.2016 19:35 GMT-5 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Patti C’s gold as goal
Patricia Marshall lets go a shot during the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. Photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
Canada and the United States are ready for another battle at the U18 level, and no one moreso than American defenceman Patti Marshall.

Moments after joining her teammates serenade Cayla Barnes with Happy Birthday (her 17th) at centre ice, newly-elected Team USA captain Marshall enthused off ice about her team as it prepares to defend a WW18 gold medal it won in dramatic fashion just a year ago in Buffalo, New York.

“Last year we had a great team, but this year we do as well,” she began. “We have a lot of great returning forwards who know how to put the puck in the net, and we have a lot of great defencemen who can contribute to the offence, like Grace Bowlby and Cayla Barnes. They can skate and rush the puck, too.”

Marshall was named captain just a few days ago, and although she appreciates the honour, she knows that gesture alone won’t define the tournament for her. “Letter or not, all the returnees are leaders, so we have a bunch of them,” she rationalized.

Although she won’t turn 18 until May, Marshall is playing her third and final U18 event. The Americans had to settle for silver in 2014 but won it all last year.

“I’ve been on both the winning and losing side of it,” she reflected. “We know what it takes to win, but for me, coming to my third tournament, I feel like I have to be here for a reason. There’s no need to be nervous. I hope I can be a leader, help the younger girls, and be a solid defenceman.”

The Americans have the edge on Canada in that they have seven returning players to Canada’s three, but one U.S. star not coming back is defenceman Jincy Dunne, the captain and on-ice star of last year’s triumph.

“It’s hard to compare anyone to Jincy because she’s an unreal player,” Marshall acknowledged, but she feels this year’s roster has depth enough to collectively replace Dunne, who is now at Ohio State with her sister playing under coach and former national team star Jenny Potter.

“Coming back as a returnee you know what’s going on but you never know what’s going to happen,” Marshall continued. “You have to come ready to compete. Sure, Canada is our rival, but you have to be ready for every game. The Czechs and Russians aren’t going to let us walk all over them—they’ll be ready.”

In the lead-up to St. Catharines, the Americans have prepared as much as they could for a high-tempo tournament.

“We’ve had a couple of scrimmages against a boys team, and we had an exhibition game against an NWHL team, the Buffalo Beauts, and I think it was great to play at a faster pace to warm up and get ready for our first game tomorrow. There are a few veterans from that team who’ve been coaching us, so it was cool playing against them. The game is so much faster and more physical, and so you learn that you can push yourself to be even better.”

This is Marshall’s swan song. She’ll be going to the University of Minnesota next year, but for now she’ll do what she can to end her career with a second gold, a rare feat at the U18 level where roster changes are fast and frequent.


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