More than 200 girls assembled in Mont Blanc, France for the 14U World Selects Invitational, as the 12-team tournament came to a thrilling conclusion over the weekend.
Following a remarkable opening ceremony and reception, the tournament got underway on Wednesday with 12 games, of which half were decided by 2 goals or less. The five-game preliminary continued into Thursday and Friday, where West Coast Selects forward Cassie Hall led all girls with seven goals and nine points. A Michigan native who plays regular-season games with Little Caesars, Hall finished the five-game stretch just ahead of other scorers Monique Lyons of Ontario Selects, Roosa Nuolikoski of Finland Selects and West Coast Selects teammate Carla McSweeney.
The preliminary round wasn’t just about offense, though, as goaltenders Felicity Luby, Michaela Hesova, Clara Karunakar and Rahel Brunner all finished with a goals-against average at an impressive .940 or higher. Luby had two shutouts for Germany Selects on top of an overwhelming 49-save effort in a 1-0 loss to West Coast Selects.
The top eight teams from the preliminary round advanced to a single-elimination tournament that began in the afternoon on Friday. The top-seeded West Coast Selects advanced to the semifinal to play the Minnesota Selects, while the second-seeded East Coast Selects advanced to play Ontario Selects in the other semifinal. Both matchups resulted in overtime decisions, with Alexandra Lalonde scoring the game-winner for West Coast Selects and Molly Jordan scoring the game-winner for East Coast Selects in their respective games.
In the championship game, East Coast pitted against West Coast in an all-Selects championship game that resulted in a low-scoring, high-intensity battle between the top two teams in the tournament. As the leading scorer of the event, it was only fitting that Cassie Hall tallied the deciding goal at the 9:15 mark of the second period, leading the West Coast Selects to a 2-1 win in the championship game.
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