West 2 - Finland 1 (OT)
GREGOIRE'S OT WINNER GIVES WEST SEVENTH PLACE
By Keith Borkowsky
REGINA — In a game where only national pride was at stake, Jason Gregoire’s clutch overtime goal gave West a 2-1 win over Finland.
That gave West seventh place at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Tuesday in Regina. Finland took eighth spot.
West assistant coach Blaine Sautner said they were ready for a shootout, if it were required, but was also confident they could finish it early in the overtime frame.
“I am kind of excited to go into shootouts, so we can see what we’ve got,” Sautner said. “I kind of joked we had our first three pairings up front and said we weren’t going to get to our third pairing because it will be over. Sure enough, we did get it done.”
Eetu Poysti put Finland on the board thanks to a turnover deep in the West zone, wrapping a shot past goalie David Aime 16:20 into the opening frame.
Early in the second period, Gregoire tied the game at one by tapping in a loose puck in a goalmouth scramble 3:40 into the second stanza.
Finland coach Petri Mattila said his team had a healthy respect for the Canadian side, which may have led to a costly lack of intensity.
“They play good hockey and have more power-skating than us,” Mattila said. “They have better passing and better shooting than us. I am happy with the face we displayed today.”
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