West 2 - Ontario 7
WEST DENIED MEDAL ROUND BERTH WITH LOSS
By Keith Borkowsky
REGINA — Team West’s mission was clear — win big against Ontario, or head for the placement round.
Ontario denied the host squad its medal-round berth with a 7-2 win Monday at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Regina.
“We wanted to leave an impression on the people here that we have a good hockey club,” Ontario coach Marty Williamson said. “I thought we may have felt sorry for ourselves in the first five or six minutes, and needed a little kick in the rear end, but we played awfully hard after that.”
West got off to a promising start with a pair of goals early. Jason Gregoire hammered home a rebound on the power play at 1:44.
Less than a minute later, Luke Schenn found a quarter-inch of open net upstairs and roofed a hard shot over Ontario goalie Trevor Cann for a 2-0 lead.
But the wheels fell off the wagon near the end of the first frame. An unassisted shorthanded goal by Sam Gagner cut West’s lead to 2-1 late in the first period. For West coach Del Pedrick, that was the turning point.
“We had a chance to go ahead 3-0, and that maybe cost us. We didn’t bury those chances when we had them, and Ontario gets one late. Whether they deserved it or not is irrelevant. It went in, and it put them back in the game when we needed to be up 2-0 in the game.”
Then Ontario opened the floodgates. John Tavares and Bryan Cameron each scored a pair while Logan Couture and Chris Terry chipped in singles.
Ontario’s offensive pressure earned them 51 shots at West goalie Ryan Holfeld.
Ontario, which finished third in Pool A, meets Atlantic in the fifth-place game, 7 p.m., in Weyburn.
Williamson said getting a crack at Atlantic is desirable, as it was the East Coasters that handed Ontario a 5-4 loss in the 2005 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
“We thought last year’s team folded up the tent a little bit. Each game, these guys are being evaluated by Hockey Canada and other scouts. There’s too much pride and character here not to play hard.”
West will play Finland in a seventh-place game in Regina at 3 p.m.
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Jeff Beck Manager, Marketing Services and Events | Responsable, événements spéciaux et internationaux