Canada U18 Team defeats USA 4-0 in Final

in Other News

Kamloops native Joe Hicketts.


Canada won the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka on Saturday by blanking the United States 4-0 on Saturday in the gold medal game in Piestany, Slovakia, giving the Canadians their sixth consecutive gold medal in the Under-18 tournament.

Michael Dal Colle, Jayce Hawryluk, Aaron Ekblad and Brendan Lemieux scored for Canada, which dominated play for most of the game. Goaltender Julio Billia stopped all 20 shots he faced and got plenty of help from his teammates, who stifled the U.S. attack. His best save came early in the second period, when he stopped Ryan Wagner’s wrister after a turnover.

“We wanted to keep the tradition alive,” defenseman Joe Hicketts told the tournament’s website. “Six years and it’s been quite a ride for Canadian hockey and to win it in the same year we won the [World] U-18 Championships [in April] is big.”

Brayden Point had a pair of assists and was named game MVP for Canada, which won the event for the 18th time since it began in 1991 and for the 16th time in the past 18 years. The United States finished second for the eighth time; the Americans’ lone gold medal came in 2003. The U.S. came in seventh last year and hadn’t medaled since coming in second in 2010.

‘It’s definitely a good tournament for us,” Wagner, the U.S. team captain, told the tournament website. “Over the years the U.S. has fell really short and over the years we’ve gotten closer. I feel like we’re happy with the silver.’

Canada grabbed the lead 3:58 into the game when Dal Colle took a drop pass from Spencer Watson and beat Alex Nedeljkovic.

Hawryluk beat Nedeljkovic through the five-hole at 11:23 of the second period before two members of the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts put the game away in the third. Ekblad, Canada’s team captain and a defenseman who’s expected to be a high puck in the 2014 NHL Draft, scored with 7:31 remaining in regulation on a one-time blast that went in off the crossbar for a power-play goal. Lemieux punched in a rebound with 5:43 to play to complete the scoring.

“Canada has a very good team and we just fell a little short,” Wagner said. “We only had two weeks together, we did our best. It was a good game.

“There was definitely a little bit of fatigue. We’ve been on the ice two times a day for two weeks and travelling and the time change. It was very hard for our guys but we battled through and fell a little short.”

Watson assisted on both third-period goals for a three-assist game and leads all scorers in the tournament with 10 points (four goals). Nick Schmaltz was tops for the Americans with eight points, including five goals.

Canada bounced back after a loss to Sweden in the preliminary round that means it needed to beat Switzerland in a shootout to advance to the medal round.

“There were questions whether or not we were going to make it after our game against Switzerland,” Hicketts said. “We refocused. We had our little scare and faced our adversity and we got back to business. We didn’t take anything lightly from there on and we pulled together from there.”

The Americans looked worn out after a tough 5-3 victory against the Czech Republic in the semifinals on Friday, the same day the Canadiens beat Russia 3-1.

“Our guys spent a lot of energy last night to beat the Czechs, who are a very good team,” coach Bob Corkum said. “But our hat is off to Canada. They played extremely well.”

The roster:

# Name S/C Ht. Wt. Born Hometown Club Team Pro Status
1 Julio Billia L/G 5’10.5” 164 03/12/96 St-Léonard, Que. Chicoutimi (QMJHL) 2014 Dft
30 Mason McDonald R/D 6’3.5” 182 04/23/96 Halifax, N.S. Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) 2014 Dft
2 Carl Neill R/D 6’0″ 228 07/06/96 Boisbriand, Que. Sherbrooke (QMJHL) 2014 Dft
3 Joe Hicketts L/G 5’7” 181 05/04/96 Kamloops, B.C. Victoria (WHL) 2014 Dft
4 Haydn Fleury L/G 6’2.5” 207 07/08/96 Carlyle, Sask. Red Deer (WHL) 2014 Dft
5 Aaron Ekblad R/D 6’3.5” 216 02/07/96 Belle River, Ont. Barrie (OHL) 2014 Dft
7 Ryan Pilon L/G 6’1.5″ 218 10/10/96 Duck Lake, Sask. Lethbridge (WHL) 2015 Dft
10 Alexandre Carrier R/D 5’10.5” 167 10/08/96 Varennes, Que. Gatineau (QMJHL) 2015 Dft
25 Roland McKeown R/D 6’0.5” 192 01/20/96 Listowel, Ont. Kingston (OHL) 2014 Dft
8 Jayce Hawryluk R/D 5’10.5” 186 01/01/96 Roblin, Man. Brandon (WHL) 2014 Dft
9 Robby Fabbri L/G 5’10” 167 01/22/96 Mississauga, Ont. Guelph (OHL) 2014 Dft
11 Sam Bennett L/G 6’0″ 178 06/20/96 Holland Landing, Ont. Kingston (OHL) 2014 Dft
12 Jared McCann L/G 6’0″ 179 05/31/96 London, Ont. Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 2014 Dft
14 Rourke Chartier L/G 5’10.5″ 177 04/03/96 Saskatoon, Sask. Kelowna (WHL) 2014 Dft
15 Spencer Watson R/D 5’9.5″ 170 04/25/96 London, Ont. Kingston (OHL) 2014 Dft
17 Michael Dal Colle L/G 6’1.5″ 184 06/20/96 Vaughan, Ont. Oshawa (OHL) 2014 Dft
18 Brayden Point R/D 5’9.5″ 156 03/12/96 Calgary, Alta. Moose Jaw (WHL) 2014 Dft
19 Jake Virtanen R/D 6’0.5″ 213 08/17/96 Abbotsford, B.C. Calgary (WHL) 2014 Dft
21 Brendan Lemieux L/G 6’0″ 211 03/15/96 Buckingham, Que. Barrie (OHL) 2014 Dft
22 Clark Bishop L/G 5’11.5″ 179 03/29/96 St. John’s, N.L. Cape Breton (QMJHL) 2014 Dft
23 Daniel Audette L/G 5’8″ 178 05/06/96 Blainville, Que. Sherbrooke (QMJHL) 2014 Dft
26 Alexis Pépin R/D 6’2″ 238 04/22/96 Candiac, Que. Charlottetown (QMJHL) 2014 Dft