LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA – Jonathon Toews scored the winning goal to lead Team West to a 3-1 win over Team Pacific in the gold medal game at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Tuesday.
Team West captures its first gold medal since this event’s inception in 1995. Team Pacific lost its fourth consecutive gold medal game to capture a silver medal.
In the gold medal match-up, Team West dominated the first period by out shooting Team Pacific 16-4, but the game remained scoreless. Team West finally slipped one past the Team Pacific goaltender in the second period on a goal by Kyle Bortis. Team Pacific responded with a goal by JP Szaszkiewicz to even things up at 1-1.
With things all tied up, Jonathon Toews broke the deadlock and scored the go ahead goal for Team West, which turned out to be the winner. Ryan Nieszner made 21 saves in the victory for Team West while Leland Irving stopped an amazing 40 shots for Team Pacific.
Player of the game honours went to Kyle Bortis for Team West as he had one goal and one assist, while Leland Irving took home the award for Team Pacific making an incredible 40 save performance.
TSN will televise the gold medal game of the 2005 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge from Lethbridge, AB on a tape delay basis. The U-17 gold medal game was played on Tuesday, Jan. 4 and will be aired on Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 8:00pm ET / 6:00pm MT.
Canada's regional teams swept the medals for the second consecutive time at this year's World Under-17 Challenge, gold – West, silver – Pacific, bronze – Atlantic. Canada enters 5 regional teams at this event, while the other five teams are made up of international all-star or national teams.
Earlier on Tuesday, Roger Kennedy made 38 saves to lead Team Atlantic to a 5-4 win over Team Ontario in the bronze medal game.
Ryan Hillier scored the winning goal for Team Atlantic with 2:41 remaining to give Team Atlantic their first ever medal in the event.