TIMMINS, Ont. – For the first time since 2002, the United States has won the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, defeating Ontario 2-1 on Monday night in front of more than 2,000 fans at McIntyre Arena, ending Ontario’s two-year grasp on the U17 gold medal.
Reid Boucher and Tyler Biggs scored the goals for the U.S., which adds the 2010 gold to ones it won in 20. It had lost two-consecutive gold medal games – in 20 – before winning on Monday. The Americans are the third straight team to go 6-0 and win gold, joining the Ontario teams of 20.
Daniel Catenacci scored the lone goal for Ontario, which was denied the opportunity to become the first team to ever win three-consecutive U17 gold medals at full-field, 10-team events.
After a scoreless opening period dominated by goaltenders Tyson Teichmann of Ontario and John Gibson of the United States, Boucher got the U.S. on board just 1:51 into the second period by snapping a shot past Teichmann. Biggs made it 2-0 in the first minute of the third and Catenacci rounded out the scoring and ruined Gibson’s shutout bid by scoring with one second remaining.
Monday’s game marked the second time in three years the teams met for U17 gold. Ontario had the upper hand in the first meeting, winning 3-0 at the 2008 tournament in front of a World Under-17 Hockey Challenge-record 8,889 fans at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ont.
Earlier Monday, Sweden claimed bronze in its return to the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 5-2 win over Russia. Thirteen years after taking silver in Alberta, the Swedes jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third period before the Russians scored two goals late. Pontus Åberg, Joachim Nermark, Jeremy Boyce, Johan Porsberger and Emil Lundberg had the goals for the Swedes, who outshot Russia 46-19. Mikhail Grigorenko and Alexander Khokhlachev scored the Russian goals.
Following the gold medal game, the tournament all-star team was announced. Choices for the all-star team were based on round-robin performance.
2010 WORLD UNDER-17 HOCKEY CHALLENGE ALL-STAR TEAM
Goal – Robin Gusse (Quebec)
Defence – Scott Harrington (Ontario)
Defence – Reece Scarlett (Pacific)
Forward – Joel Armia (Finland)
Forward – Rocco Grimaldi (United States)
Forward – Alexander Khokhlachev (Russia)
The 20 World Under-17 Hockey Challenges will be held in Winnipeg, Man.
For more information on the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, visit www.hockeycanada.ca/wu17.