Courtney Mahoney part of Australia's IIHF U18 Women's World Championships squad

Courtney Mahoney battles for the puck at the 2022 IIHF Women's World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia. (Photo Credit: Stjepan Cizmadija)

Meet Australia's IIHF U18 Women's World Championships squad, competing in Istanbul, Turkey this month. We preview Australia's tournament.

Australia has sent one of its youngest squads to Istanbul, Turkey, to compete in the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships. Tournament viewers will see that the future is bright for women’s hockey in Australia.

The schedule makers have been kind to viewers in Australia wishing to watch the tournament, with both of Australia’s Group C games scheduled for 8:00 pm AEST.

The tournament’s first match, between Iceland and Australia, will be at 8:00 pm AEST Monday, June 27. Australia plays its second game against Spain at 8:00 pm AEST Wednesday, June 29.

Olivia Last, the goaltender for both Australia’s National Women’s Team and U18 Team, will have an opportunity to exact revenge on Iceland for defeating Australia in the Women’s World Championships in Croatia last month.

The Australian squad includes players as young as 14 years old. Ideally, according to Head Coach Tamra Jones, this will allow a core group to compete together over the next three to four years.

Australia’s IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships Team

In the latest episode of the Net, Sticks, and Chill podcast, we chatted with Head Coach Tamra Jones about the players to watch and preview the tournament.

It is promising that the vast majority of players selected will be eligible to compete for multiple years. Jones mentioned that this is by far the youngest team Australia has sent to compete at the U18s.

  • Ebony Brunt – 18
  • Elizabeth Marshall – 17
  • Lucy York – 16
  • Madison Sargeant – 18
  • Gabrielle Arps – 14
  • Lily Roberts – 14
  • Nikita Aguirrezabal – 17
  • Olivia Last – 17
  • Phoebe Roberts – 17
  • Samantha Payne – 17
  • Courtney Mahoney – 17
  • Katrina Rapchuk – 14
  • Amelia Grigaliunas – 15
  • Natasha Dube – 14
  • Amber Bedell – 14
  • Elana Holub – 14
  • Maddy Smith – 17
  • Molly Lukowiak – 17
  • Faith Kilgallon – 16
  • Charlize Novatsis – 16
  • Head Coach – Tamra Jones
  • Assistant Coach – Remi Harvey
  • Goalie Coach – Gabe Robledo
  • Team Manager – Candice Mitchell
  • Medical Officer – James Brodie
  • Chef de Mission – Mark Stephenson

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2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship Tournament Format

Australia will face Iceland and Spain in its three-team group, Group C. To have a chance of winning gold, Australia must finish top of the group.

For the other groups, the teams in Group A are Great Britain, Mexico, and Turkey. Group B contains Kazakhstan, Latvia, and the Netherlands.

The winners of each of the three groups will form Group D after the initial round-robin tournament. Second-placed teams will form Group E, and last-place teams join Group F.

After a second round-robin tournament, the top two teams in Group D will face off in the gold medal game. The third-place team in Group D plays the top team in Group E for the bronze medal.

The easiest way for Australia to medal at the tournament is to top Group C, and then it’s guaranteed a bronze medal match at a minimum.

Tournament Expectations

It has been three years since Australia sent a U18 team to compete in the IIHF Women’s World Championships. Most of Australia’s IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships squad will have met each other for the first time in Turkey.

“Right now we are focusing on gelling the team as a group, as most of them [the players] haven’t played together.” Assistant Coach Remi Harvey said.

Australia has not played Iceland at a U18 women’s tournament, so it is difficult to prognosticate. It has played Spain once, but that was back in 2017 when it recorded a 3-1 win.

It’s fortunate therefore that it has a warm-up match scheduled against Spain on June 25. The match will allow both teams to gain the measure of their group opponent.

“We haven’t seen much of Spain. However, my feeling is that they play well-structured hockey and try to force lots of turnovers,” Harvey said.

“I feel that our speed and grit for the puck will help us in this game but it’ll definitely be put to the test.”

Although it is a young team, there is a strong experienced leadership group including Olivia Last, Courtney Mahoney, and Molly Lukowiak who all played for the senior team last month in Croatia.

Head Coach Tamra Jones said the expectations for the team were “to perform to our ability and pay attention to what we are doing. Every game I would hope the goal is to win.”

You can view Australia’s first game against Iceland on Monday at 8:00 pm AEST via YouTube (click here for the link)

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