NEWS
08/21/2011 02:18 EDT | Updated 10/21/2011 05:12 EDT

Canada's under-18 women's team clinches series against hockey rival U.S.

ROCKLAND, Ont. - Canada's under-18 women's team defeated the United States 6-4 on Sunday to win the three-game exhibition series between the world hockey rivals.

Laura Stacey of Kleinburg, Ont., had two goals and two assists, while Meghan Dufault of Winnipeg, Emily Clark of Saskatoon, Rebecca Kohler of St. Thomas, Ont., and Cayley Mercer of Exeter, Ont., added one apiece.

The U.S. won the series opener 3-2 before Canada rebounded to take the second game 3-2.

Clinching the series is a big boost for Canada five months before the world championships, said assistant coach Jim Fetter. The U.S. beat the Canadians in the world gold-medal game last year.

"Definitely a confidence builder," said Fetter. "Now they believe they can do it, they can be successful, and we beat both goaltenders as well, so no matter which one they play we feel pretty confident that we can get the job done."

The Americans swept Canada in the same exhibition series last year.

"That wasn't exactly the best feeling and then we lost last year in the finals of the worlds, so to finally come out on top against the U.S. is really good for us," said Canadian captain Erin Ambrose of Keswick, Ont. "I think just the feeling we have right now as a unit is really going to help us come January."

Dana Trivigno, Sydney Daniels, Dani Cameranesi, and Hayley Skarupa scored for the Americans, who raced out to a 3-1 lead in the see-saw battle.

"I liked our will to battle and compete," Fetter said. "We did obviously have to face some adversity, but having said that we were playing well, we didn't get any bounces, or any breaks. The girls just stuck to the game plan.

"We just talked about wearing them down, keeping coming at them in waves, and that's what helped us with the success in the end."