For the second consecutive year, former Los Angeles Jr. King Cayla Barnes has been named the Best Defenseman of the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women's World Championship, which this year was showcased from Jan. 7-14 in the Czech Republic.
A member of the U.S. squad, Barnes tied for the team lead in scoring with six points (three goals) as the Americans skated to a gold-medal performance at the event, which culminated in a 3-1 triumph over Canada in the championship game (Barnes was also named the finale’s U.S. Player of the Game).
Team USA forged a 4-0-1 record at the tournament, outscoring its opponents 19-3.
No stranger to the international stage, Barnes, this year's team captain, was also a member of Team USA’s 2015 and 2016 World Championship-winning squads.
“I'm incredibly proud of this group of girls for all of their hard work and dedication," said Joel Johnson, head coach of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team. “They deserved this impressive accomplishment and will have this golden memory forever.”
A Corona native who has committed to play her NCAA Division I hockey at Boston College, the 1999-born Barnes, who was also recognized as one of Team USA's top players of the tournament, is in her senior year at New Hampshire’s New Hampton School.
The victory gives Team USA its third consecutive gold medal at the Under-18 Women’s World Championship and sixth title in the first 10 years of the event; the U.S also claimed gold in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2016.