1. Nikita Serebryakov (G) – Russia
American shooters will see Serebryakov in their nightmares after the Russian goaltender turned in his second game-stealing performance against the U.S. in six days. After a 51-save performance led Russia to a 3-2 preliminary round win last Friday, Serebryakov turned aside 45 shots in Wednesday’s 7-4 gold medal game victory, helping the Russians to their first U17 gold medal since 2000.
2. Sergei Tolchinski (F) – Russia
One of the smallest players in the tournament at 5-foot-7, 150 pounds, Tolchinski had arguably the biggest impact on Wednesday’s gold medal game. The Russian forward scored a hat trick, including the game-tying goal in the second period and a back-breaking shorthanded penalty shot goal early in the third period to give the Russians their biggest lead of the game to that point at 4-2.
3. Max Domi (F) – Ontario
Domi helped make sure Ontario took home a medal from the U17 tournament for the fifth year in a row, scoring twice in the third period as the host province erased a one-goal deficit after 40 minutes with four goals in the final frame to win bronze. He gave Ontario insurance with the 4-2 goal on the power play before rounding out the scoring with a gorgeous individual effort in the dying minutes.
1. Grigori Dikushin (F) – Russia
With Russia just 4:15 from a trip to the bronze medal game, Dikushin stepped up with the game-tying goal, and, just for good measure, added the game-winner 8:27 into overtime to help the Russians advance to the gold medal game for the first time since they won their lone title in 2000. Dikushin’s two goals extended his team scoring lead and left him tied for third in tournament scoring with nine points.
2. Bronson Beaton (F) – Atlantic
Goalless through four games, Beaton picked an ideal time for his first two of the tournament, tying the seventh-place game late in the second period and adding the game-winner eight minutes into the third to help Atlantic to a 4-2 victory over the Czech Republic. Beaton finished as just one of two Atlantic players, along with Oliver Cooper, to record more than a single goal.
3. Hunter Garlent (F) – Ontario
Although Ontario saw its consecutive gold medal game appearance streak end at four with an overtime loss to Russia, Garlent did all he could to help the Canadian cause, putting his name on the scoresheet on all three Ontario goals – he set up Stephen Nosad in the first period and Aaron Ekblad in the second before briefly putting Ontario ahead in the third with his third goal of the tournament.
1. Evan Allen (F) – United States
With the Americans’ tournament riding on the final 40 minutes of their game against Pacific on Monday night, Allen stepped up with two big goals to give the U.S. a lead it would never relinquish in a 4-2 victory. The native of Sterling Heights, Mich., a suburb of Detroit located less than an hour from Windsor, finished his preliminary round with five goals, tied with Hudson Fasching for the team lead.
2. Victor Öhman (F) – Sweden
Öhman continued his torrid scoring streak against Atlantic, picking up four assists to help the Swedes to an 8-2 rout and a berth in the semifinals. After being held off the scoresheet in a tournament-opening 7-2 to loss to Ontario, Öhman scored a hat trick in a win over Quebec and added three assists in a victory over Germany. He finished the preliminary round as the tournament scoring leader with 10 points.
3. Hunter Garlent (F) – Ontario
For Ontario the semifinal math was simple – win, and get in, and Garlent made sure the defending gold medallists did just that, scoring the tying goal in the first period and adding the 4-1 insurance marker midway through the second before capping off his night with an assist on Stephen Harper’s third-period goal as Ontario completed a perfect preliminary round.
1. J.T. Compher (F) – United States
When the Americans needed a big goal they looked to Compher on Sunday night. The U.S. forward gave his team its second lead of the first period, set up Anthony Louis (see below) for the 3-1 goal seven minutes into the second and, with West pressing late, added assists on Louis’ second and third goals in a 7-3 win, helping the Americans keep their semifinal hopes alive.
2. Anthony Louis (F) – United States
While Compher put his name at the top of the scoresheet with a goal and three assists it was Louis who was the beneficiary of Compher’s set-up skills, recording a hat trick with a trio of power play goals. Louis found the back of the net when his team needed it most, scoring twice with the man advantage in the final 6:11 with West pushing to get back into the game.
3. Jordan DeKort (G) – Ontario
After watching from the bench as Spencer Martin started Ontario’s first two games, DeKort got the call on Sunday night and stopped all 17 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory over Atlantic. It was fitting DeKort started Ontario’s lone game in LaSalle – an OHL draft pick of the Windsor Spitfires, he is playing this season with the GOJHL’s LaSalle Vipers.
1. Victor Öhman (F) – Sweden
Öhman struck early and often against Quebec on Saturday afternoon, scoring twice in the first period – including the second of two shorthanded goals on the same Quebec power play – and once more early in the second to complete his hat trick helping the Swedes pull away from the Canadian side early en route to their first victory of the tournament.
2. Nathan MacKinnon (F) – Atlantic
After being held off the scoresheet in Atlantic’s opening-day loss to Quebec (and its exhibition defeat at the hands of the U.S.), the highly-touted MacKinnon – who finished in the top 10 of tournament scoring last year as a 15-year-old – broke out in a 4-3 win over Germany, scoring his first goal and setting up Oliver Cooper for the game-winner late in the third as Atlantic picked up win No. 1.
3. Nicolas Petan (F) – Pacific
While this spot could be occupied by the entire Pacific power play unit, which is 7-for-21 (33.3%) through three games, Petan was the trigger man in Pacific’s 4-3 win over Russia on Saturday, opening the scoring on the man advantage midway through the first period and scoring again while a man up late in the second, which proved to be the game-winner.
1. Nikita Serebryakov (G) – Russia
How good was the Russian goaltender in Friday’s 3-2 victory over the United States? Serebryakov made more saves in the first period alone (24) than his team had shots in the entire game (22). He finished with 51 stops, including a number of big saves with the Americans pressing for the tying goal in the final 10 minutes, helping Russia end the U.S.’ preliminary round winning streak at 13 games.
2. Darnell Nurse (D) – Ontario
The nephew of NHL quarterback Donovan McNabb, Nurse did a little quarterbacking of his own on the ice in Ontario’s 7-2 win over Sweden. The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds blue-liner led the Ontario power play to four goals, helping set up the go-ahead and insurance goals with the man advantage before scoring his first of the tournament for good measure midway through the third period.
3. Tristan Jarry (G) – Pacific
It was a rough beginning for the Pacific netminder in his first international start – Jarry faced a pair of five-on-threes in the first 15 minutes, totalling more than two-and-a-half minutes, but came through it unscathed and finished with 34 saves, helping Pacific blank the Czechs 4-0 and improve to 2-0, alone atop Group B through two days.
1. Sam Reinhart (F) – Pacific
The dynamic forward got his team on track to victory in its tournament opener against West, scoring twice in a span of 3:05 early in the second period to turn a tie game into a two-goal advantage en route to a 5-2 victory. Reinhart, son of former NHL defenceman Paul, joins his brothers Max (2009) and Griffin (2011) as Reinharts to play in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
2. Bo Horvat (F) – Ontario
Following a tradition of recent Ontario captains that includes Florida Panthers defenceman Erik Gudbranson and current National Junior team member Boone Jenner, Horvat set the tone in Ontario’s opener against Germany, scoring once and adding an assist while excelling at both ends of the ice, helping his team start its gold medal defence with a 5-0 shutout victory.
3. J.T. Compher (F) – United States
Compher got the ball rolling against the Czechs, opening the scoring early in the first period and adding a second goal late in the opening frame as the Americans outshot their European opponents 25-8 in the first 20 minutes and led 4-0, on their way to a 5-1 victory. The win kept alive an impressive streak for the U.S. – it has not lost a tournament opener since 1997, a span of 12 games.