BRECLAV, Czech Republic – Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team will play for gold at the 2010 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament after defeating the Czech Republic 6-2 in Breclav in Friday’s semifinal. Canada will face the United States, which defeated Sweden 5-4 in overtime in the other semi, in the gold medal game on Saturday in Piestany, Slovakia (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT).
On Friday, Canada jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals from Lucas Lessio (Maple, Ont./St. Michael’s, CCHL), Alan Quine (Belleville, Ont./Kingston, OHL) and Matt Puempel (Essex, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) en route to its 12th victory in a row at the tournament, earning a chance to win its third-consecutive gold. Lessio finished with two goals, while Brett Ritchie (Orangeville, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) and Garrett Meurs (Ripley, Ont./Plymouth, OHL) also scored for Canada, which improved to 12-2-2 all-time against the Czechs.
Canada won its round-robin pool with a perfect 3-0 record, scoring wins over Sweden (6-3), Switzerland (7-3) and Slovakia (6-1). The Americans also finished atop their pool with an unblemished 3-0 record. Saturday’s game will mark the 16th summer under-18 meeting all-time between Canada and the U.S. – Canada holds a 8-4-3 record and has won the last two meetings, 4- and 3-.
Canada has won the tournament in back-to-back years, and five of the last six, dating back to 2004. Canada’s roster is made up of 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders, and features 13 players from the Ontario Hockey League, four from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, four from the Western Hockey League and one from the Central Canadian Hockey League.
There is no TV or radio coverage of the 2010 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka. Hockey Canada’s official website, www.hockeycanada.ca, is the place to find complete coverage of Canada at the tournament.