BOBRUISK, Belarus – Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has finished in fourth place in Group A at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, meaning it will take part in the relegation round beginning Wednesday in Bobruisk. It marks the first time since Canada’s debut at the tournament in 2002 that it will not take part in the semifinals.
Canada finished preliminary round play on Sunday with a 5-4 loss to Sweden. Trailing 4-0 after two periods, Canada got to within a goal with 90 seconds left before coming up short. Ryan O’Connor (Hamilton, Ont./Saginaw, OHL), Christian Thomas (Toronto, Ont./Oshawa, OHL), Freddie Hamilton (St. Catharines, Ont./Niagara, OHL) and Quinton Howden (Oakbank, Man./Moose Jaw, WHL) all scored in the final 20 minutes for Canada, which was outshot 30-19. Howden and Hamilton finished with a goal and an assist each, while Greg McKegg (St. Thomas, Ont./Erie, OHL) added two helpers.
In the relegation round, Canada will face Latvia (Wednesday, noon ET/9 a.m. PT) and Slovakia (Thursday, 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT). Canada’s 11-3 victory over Belarus on Thursday will carry over to the relegation round.
In addition to its victory over Belarus and loss to Sweden, Canada lost to Switzerland (3-1) and the United States (5-0) during preliminary round play.
Canada's roster includes 13 players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven (7) players from the Western Hockey League and two (2) players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Eleven (11) players helped Canada's National Men's Summer Under-18 Team capture the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in August 2009 in the Czech Republic.