Australia win bronze medal at 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division II tournament

Aaron KirbyThe West Australian
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Australia win a bronze medal at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division II tournament.
Camera IconAustralia win a bronze medal at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division II tournament. Credit: Perth Infernos/Facebook/Facebook

Three young West Australian Ice Hockey rising stars have helped Australia to a bronze medal at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division II tournament.

Perth Inferno young guns Charlize Novatsis, Faith Kilgallon and Molly Lukowiak were all selected for the national U18s side that travelled to Istanbul for the competition.

Australia outlasted the Netherlands in the third-place match 2-1 after earning their medal shot with three wins in the preliminary round.

They opened their campaign with a convincing 5-1 victory over Iceland but quickly returned to earth against eventual champions Spain, who were far too good, beating Australia 4-1.

The Aussies learnt their lessons and were brilliant through their last two preliminary matches with a 5-0 win over hosts Turkey and a hard-fought 2-1 triumph over Latvia.

Their run of wins saw them come into the bronze medal match as favourites, having won one game more than the Dutch outfit.

It started poorly for the Aussies, conceding just eight minutes into the first period.

But they rallied, firing back just two minutes later through Forward Phoebe Roberts.

Neither side could find the advantage in the second period, but Australia came out of the second interval on point, taking the lead just after the 48-minute mark.

Australia won four games on their way to a bronze medal at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division II tournament.
Camera IconAustralia won four games on their way to a bronze medal at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division II tournament. Credit: Perth Infernos/Facebook

They battled to the final buzzer but held their advantage to take home bronze.

Novatsis and Kilgallon were given limited minutes throughout the tournament, but it was Molly Lukowiak who stood out, registering one goal, against Iceland, and two assists.

However, she saved her best performance for last as Lukowiak was named player of the match in the medal decider.

Great Britain finished second after losing the Gold medal match 3-1 to Spain, who will be promoted to Division I Group B for 2023.

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