Quebec 5 - USA 2
Gold Medal Final
QUEBEC’S GOLDEN DREAM BECOMES REALITY
By Keith Borkowsky
REGINA — One second, Michael Stinziani is just waiting for a loose puck in front of the net.
Just as quickly, the Quebec sniper taps in the game-winning goal, becoming a provincial hero in Quebec’s 5-2 win over the United States Wednesday in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge gold medal game.
“The guys were working hard down low,” Stinziani said of his goal after the game. “They got the puck up high and they just shot it on goal. The puck was on the line and I just tapped it in.”
With the win Quebec claimed its fourth gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and avenged a ninth-place performance at last year’s event.
“It was like a dream. Just like a rivalry against USA. You couldn’t ask for better than that,” Stinziani said.
Quebec coach Martin Bernard said having a deep lineup to rely upon was a key in getting through what was a tough battle with the Americans.
“The second and third and fourth lines did a great job today, Everyone stepped up like Veilleux and Maxime Cliche,” Bernard said.
After a see-saw battle for 18 minutes, Quebec’s Kevin Veilleux opened the scoring. He took a pass from Jean-Simon Allard, skated around the American defenceman, and beat USA goalie Brad Phillips with a hard wrist shot at 18:02.
With 28 seconds left in the period, Marc-Antoine Desnoyers put La Belle Province up 2-0, hammering home a loose puck in a goalmouth scramble. Marc-Andre Laroche and Francis Filion assisted.
The Americans cut the Quebec lead to one, when Colin Wilson whacked a rebound just outside the goal crease into the open cage 8:22 into the period, Mike Ciesiak and James van Riemsdyk assisted.
“We were all a little nervous, a little hesitant,” Wilson said. “We weren’t getting to the loose pucks. Our feet weren’t moving as much. As soon as we got over that fear of losing, that’s when we started playing well … I thought the goal helped get the team going. We were all pretty much firing out there after that.”
USA defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk put an unassisted marker past Quebec goalie Raffael D’Orso to tie the game at two, 36 seconds into the third period.
After Maxine Cliché and Kevin Marshall assisted Stinziani’s game-winner, Maxime Cliche added insurance with a wrist shot from the faceoff circle that beat Phillips cleanly. Veilleux assisted, giving him his second point of the night at 9:14.
An empty-net goal from Mathieu Tousignant ensured Quebec’s dream remained golden.
Angelo Esposito said winning a gold medal in a national team jersey was a feeling he will never forget.
“This is my first international experience, my first time (to win) gold for me,” Esposito said. “All the guys came out. We gave it all we had. Quebec hasn’t won this in 12 years, and it’s a great feeling. All the guys wanted this very badly.”
ICE CHIPS — USA coach Ron Rolston was nailed in the back of the head with a hard clearing attempt that flew into the American bench. After dropping to the floor and receiving first aid from a nearby trainer, he completed the game unscathed.
Players of the game:
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Jeff Beck Manager, Marketing Services and Events | Responsable, événements spéciaux et internationaux