1. Anton Karlsson (F) – Sweden
The Swedish captain was his team’s best player in its 7-5 gold medal game victory over
Russia,scoring twice and adding two assists, with three of his four points coming in the decisive third period. His first goal gave the Swedes the lead for good, he set up Gustav Franzén for the game’s first two-goal advantage minutes later and capped off the festivities with an empty-net goal in the dying seconds, ensuring he’d be the first Swede ever to get his hands on the Quebec Cup.
2. Gustav Franzén (F) – Sweden
Franzén also racked up four points in the gold medal game victory, finishing with two goals
and two assists to help the Swedes to their first-ever U17 gold. His goal in the first period came just 25 seconds after Russia had opened the scoring and, after a second period assist, he set up Anton Karlsson for the go-ahead goal and scored the eventual winner minutes later, booking his spot in Swedish hockey history.
3. Austin Poganski (F) – United States
A junior at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud, Minn., Poganski joined the U.S. team
as an injury replacement for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and made the most of his opportunity, particularly in Friday’s bronze medal game. Poganski scored a hat trick, finding the back of the net once in each period, as the Americans won an under-17 medal for the seventh consecutive tournament.
1. Oskar Lindblom (F) – Sweden
Lindblom has been on a tear for the Swedes all week, and added to his impressive
tournament totals on Thursday with a hat trick in Sweden’s 6-4 semifinal win over Quebec. The tournament’s leading scorer scored once in the first period, once in the second and got the winner eight minutes into the third for his fourth consecutive three-point game, helping the Swedes to the gold medal game for the first time since 1997.
2. Maxim Lazarev (F) – Russia
With the Russians trailing the United States 3-2 entering the third period of their semifinal
and in danger of seeing their reign as U17 gold medallists come to an end, Lazarev
stepped up and helped the Russians reach a second consecutive gold medal game. He helped set up Radel Fazleyev for the tying goal 45 seconds into the third, gave Russia the lead at 4:42 and assisted on Fazleyev’s second at 5:17 to help the Russians earn the victory and keep their dreams of back-to-back U17 gold medals alive.
3. Connor McDavid (F) – Ontario
Ontario may have struggled to its worst finish at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
since 1988, but it wasn’t for lack of effort on McDavid’s part. The 15-year-old scored twice and added an assist in Thursday’s 7-6 fifth-place game loss to Pacific, and finished the tournament as the leading scorer among all Canadian players, with nine points (six goals, three assists) in five games.
1. Julio Billia (G) – Quebec
The Quebec goaltender turned in the performance of his life Wednesday night, making
40 saves, including 17 in the third period alone, and holding an Ontatio offence that had scored 28 times in three games to just a single goal. The 2-1 win moves Quebec into the semifinals, where Billia will have to on his game once again against the Swedes, who averaged six goals a game in the preliminary round.
2. Yevgeni Svechnikov (F) – Russia
Svechnikov did his damage in an 11-minute span against Finland, scoring in the dying
seconds of the first period to tie the game, setting up Maxim Lazarev for the go-ahead goal 1:51 into the second and adding his second of the game midway through the middle frame. The Russians avoided becoming the first defending champion since 2008 to miss the semis the next year, and face the U.S. Thursday in a 2012 gold medal game rematch.
3. Sonny Milano (F) – United States
Milano opened and closed the scoring, and added an assist in between, for the Americans,
who are in familiar territory heading to the semifinals – the U.S. won its group for the sixth consecutive World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The American forward finished the preliminary round with four goals and four assists in four games, good for second in tournament scoring, one point behind Sweden’s Oskar Lindblom.
1. Jake Virtanen (F) – Pacific
The first-overall pick in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft put his skill-set on display in Tuesday’s
win over Finland that kept Pacific alive in the race for a semifinal spot. Virtanen drove the
net for his first goal, picked the top corner on his second and showed off a quick release in the shootout, giving the Canadian side a desperately-needed victory despite coughing up a three-goal third-period lead.
2. Alexis Pepin (F) – Quebec
With Quebec’s tournament hanging in the balance, Pépin picked an ideal time for his first
two goals, opening the scoring eight minutes in before scoring the winner midway through the third period, just 26 seconds after the Slovaks had tied the game. The win puts Quebec in a winner-take-all match-up with Ontario on Wednesday, with the victor heading to the semifinals.
3. Ontario Offence
Who can stop these guys? For the second game in a row Ontario cracked double digits,
routing Atlantic 11-1 to put itself in position to advance to the semifinals. Over the past 120 minutes, Ontario has scored 23 goals, with 11 different players finding the back of the net. With one game to go, the 28 goals scored in the preliminary round is already Ontario’s highest since a 30-goal output at the 1997 tournament.
1. Kameron Kielly (F) – Atlantic
With Atlantic nursing a one-goal over Slovakia early in the third period, Kielly stepped up
with a pair of quick goals, scoring the eventual game-winner 1:45 into the final frame and adding insurance less than four minutes later to help the easterners to their first victory. An under-ager with Atlantic one year ago, Kielly has already doubled his goal output – he scored once in five games in 2012.
2. Oskar Lindblom (F) – Sweden
Few had as much to do with Sweden’s third win in as many days as Lindblom, who scored
twice and added an assist in the victory over Pacific that locked up a semifinal spot. Lindblom set up Gustaf Franzén for the go-ahead goal late in the second after Pacific had struck for two quick goals to tie the game, and scored a pair in the third to quash any thoughts of a Canadian comeback.
3. Chris Wilkie (F) – United States
As they have in all three of their wins this week the Americans spread around the scoring,
with five different players finding the back of the net. But Wilkie was the standout, helping
set up Jack Eichel for the game’s first goal and picking up an assist on Ryan MacInnis’ game-winner before scoring one himself late in the third period to cap off the offensive festivities.
1. Connor McDavid (F) – Ontario
While almost any player on the Ontario roster could have laid claim to the top spot after
its offensive explosion against Slovakia, to the tune of 12-0, the No. 1 nod goes to McDavid for the second day in a row. The 15-year-old scored a hat trick in a span of 10:41 in the second period, and leads the tournament in scoring with six points (four goals, two assists) through his first two international games.
2. William Nylander Altelius (F) –
The son of former NHLer Michael Nylander, the young Swede showed off his wide array of
skills in his team’s 7-3 win over Finland, putting his speed, quick release, soft hands and
deft passing on display. Nylander Altelius scored once and added two assists as the Swedes finished the second day of the tournament atop Group A as the only team with a pair of regulation-time wins.
3. Ilya Zinoviev (F) – Russia
After opening Russia’s tournament opener Saturday with a bang, picking up a goal and
an assist in the first 10 minutes of an eventual 8-7 overtime loss, Zinoviev waited until the closing minutes of Sunday’s game against West to make an impact, scoring twice in the third period to give the Russians a little bit more breathing room in a 6-2 victory that got the defending champions into the win column.
1. Connor McDavid (F) – Ontario
The 15-year-old phenom, granted exceptional player status to play in the Ontario Hockey
League this season, showed flashes of brilliance in Ontario’s shootout loss to the U.S., setting up Aaron Ekblad for the game’s opening goal, scoring one of his own in the second period and doing the lion’s share of the work on Sam Bennett’s go-ahead marker in the third.
2. Sonny Milano (F) – United States
Milano stepped up when the Americans needed it in their come-from-behind win over
Ontario, earning the lone assist on Jack Eichel’s goal that started the U.S. comeback late in the second period before tying the game with 8:21 left in the third. He then added the lone goal of the shootout as the Americans opened with a confidence-boosting win.
3. Brycen Martin (D) – Pacific
The offensive defenceman was in on half of Pacific’s goals in its wild 8-7 overtime win
over Russia, picking up four assists, three on the power playThe final helper came when
he found Joe Hicketts with a cross-ice feed 59 seconds into the extra period, helping the Canadian side beat the defending gold medallist and open Group A play with a win.