USA Hockey Magazine

March 2017

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PHOTOS BY USA Hockey O F F THE D R AW 3 U S A H O C K E Y N E W S , P E O P L E & P R O G R A M S k Barnes is the only player to win three consecutive gold medals at the Women's U18 World Championship. Cayla Barnes Continues Her Medal Haul With Third Title At IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship The Gold Standard By Ryan Williamson W HETHER she's playing on home ice or halfway around the world, losing has been somewhat of a foreign concept to Cayla Barnes. Heading into this year's IIHF Under- 18 Women's World Championship, Barnes had never been on the short end of the scoreboard. So when the U.S. squad dropped a 1-0 overtime heart- breaker to Canada in the preliminary round, it came as a bit of a shock. "Personally, I knew we were better than how we played in that game," said Barnes, who won the directorate award as the tournament's best defenseman. "Coming from a leader's standpoint, I knew we were fine. It was a good wake- up call to get our gears going and know we can be beaten." Two games later, that loss was a dis- tant memory as the U.S. won its third consecutive IIHF title in Zlin, Czech Republic, avenging its earlier loss to Canada in the gold-medal game. The victory helped Barnes become the first player to net a hat trick of IIHF gold medals in U18 tournaments. As a 15-year-old playing in her first international event, the Corona, Calif., native played a limited role as Team USA won gold in Buffalo. The following year she took advantage of her increased ice time to lead the tournament in plus/ minus and assists. She even had the pri- mary assist on the clinching goal. This time around, she was one of 11 returning players, and served as team captain. While her duties have changed, the trust of the U.S. coaching staff in Barnes has never waivered. "She was always the same player, she just accepted different roles," said U.S. Head Coach Joel Johnson. "In addition to her elite physical ability, she jumps off the page with her hockey intelli- gence. She's like a coach on the ice." That leadership void will be felt next year when Barnes becomes a freshman at Boston College, where she will be trying to crack an Eagles lineup loaded with Olympic-caliber players. One day she hopes she can add her name to that list. "It's exciting to be starting a new chapter in my life," Barnes said. "I've had a good three years with the U18s. Hopefully, I will have a chance to con- tinue with USA Hockey." P Highest plus/minus of any player in the 2016 tournament, also led in assists (6) +10 4 // MARCH 2017 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM

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