Giovanni Vallati and Team Canada Black and Sweden will battle for gold on Saturday after a pair of closely contested semi-final matchups both required extra time on Friday. The United States and Finland also prevailed in placement games. Here’s a look at Friday’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge action.
UNITED STATES 3; CANADA RED (Damiani, Guest) 2
Jake Pivonka and Jacob Semik scored late goals to lead the United States to a 3-2 win over Team Canada Red as they claim fifth place at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Pivonka scored twice in the game as the Americans outshot Canada Red 46-19. Canadian goaltender Kevin Mandolese (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) made 43 saves to keep his club in the game. Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm) and Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax Mooseheads) provided goals for Team Canada Red in the loss. Team Canada Red places sixth at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
SWEDEN 3; CANADA WHITE 2 SO
Lukas Wernblom scored the deciding goal in the ninth round of the shootout as Sweden edged Team Canada White 3-2 in a heartbreaker at the Essar Centre. Canada White will compete for bronze against Russia on Saturday as a result of the loss. Wernblom scored twice for Sweden in the shootout while Jared McIsaac (Halifax Mooseheads) did the same for Canada White. Marcus Westfalt and Samuel Fagemo had regulation goals for Sweden while Jackson Shepard (Kamloops Blazers) and Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) tallied for Canada White. Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs) made 31 saves in the loss. Canada White faces Russia at 3:30pm on Friday. Sweden will take on Team Canada Black in Saturday’s gold medal game on TSN.
FINLAND 2; CZECH REPUBLIC 1 OT
Leevi Aaltonen scored the shootout winner for Finland as they defeated the Czech Republic to claim seventh place in the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Lenni Killinen and Ondrej Pavel swapped goals in the second period as things remained deadlocked through 60 minutes. The Finns prevailed in the shootout after being outshot 31-27.
CANADA BLACK (Vallati) 3; RUSSIA 2 SO
Nolan Foote (Kelowna Rockets), Allan McShane (Erie Otters) and Luka Burzan (Moose Jaw Warriors) scored in the shootout as Team Canada Black advanced to Saturday’s gold medal game with a 3-2 win over Russia. Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads) stood tall in goal for Canada Black, turning aside 37 shots in regulation before backstopping his team to victory in the shootout. Chase Wouters (Saskatoon Blades) and Adam McMaster (North Bay Battalion) scored for Canada Black while Andrey Svechnikov scored both Russian goals in regulation. Russia will take on Canada White for bronze on Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm before Canada Black takes on Sweden for gold at 7:30pm, a game that can be seen live across the country on TSN.
For more information on the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit hockeycanada.ca.