Wheeler leads Canada in points at IIHF tournament

Maddi Wheeler scored the game winner in overtime to lead Canada to a 3-2 win over the U.S. in the IIHF gold medal game in Japan. File photo.

Erinsville’s Maddi Wheeler has been a key part of Team Canada’s offense at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s U-18 Women’s World Championship in Obihiro, Japan, recording four assists to help Canada to a 2-1 record through the preliminary round.

Wheeler had a hand in her team’s final two goals Tuesday as the Canadians picked up a 5-1 win over Russia to close out the first round. Her first helper came 1:32 into the second period to give Canada a 4-0 lead. She added another on the power-play 4:40 into the third to rebuild Canada’s four goal cushion and round out the 5-1 score. On Monday Wheeler set teammate Julia Gosling up with the first goal of the game in an eventual 3-2 loss to the Americans.

On Saturday she assisted Daniella Calabrese with Canada’s first goal of the tournament which proved pivotal in a 2-1 victory over Sweden. Her four assists through the first three games make the 16-year-old NDSS student the team leader in points heading into the playoffs.

Canada will next face off against the winner of a Switzerland-Russia game on Saturday at 3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

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