VICTORIAVILLE, Que. – After posting semifinal wins Thursday, Russia and Sweden will meet in the gold medal game at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Friday night. The puck will drop at the Colisée in Victoriaville at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT; the game can be seen live on TSN2.
Russia beat the United States 6-4 in semifinal action in Victoriaville, while Sweden knocked off Quebec 6-4 in Drummondville, Que.
The Russians are looking to become the first team to win back-to-back gold medals since Ontario in 20, and a gold on Friday would be their third overall, joining 2000 and last year. The Swedes are in the gold medal for the third time; they won silver in 19.
In Victoriaville, Yevgeni Svechnikov and Radel Fazleyev scored two goals each for the Russians, who got four goals in the third period to beat the Americans in the medal round for the second year in a row; last year in Windsor, Ont., Russia beat the U.S. in the gold medal game. Ivan Nikolishin and Maxim Lazarev had the other goals for Russia, while Chris Wilkie, with two, Austin Poganski and Jack Glover did the scoring for the U.S.
In Drummondville, Oskar Lindblom scored a hat trick to give him a tournament-leading 12 points in five
games, helping the Swedes – the tournament’s last undefeated team – reach the gold medal game and set up a
rematch of sorts of the 1988 final, which saw Pavel Bure and the Soviet Union beat Mats Sundin and Sweden.
Alexis Pépin and Daniel Audette added a goal and an assist each for Quebec, which was trying to advance to
the gold medal game for the first time since 2006.
Quebec and the United States will meet Friday afternoon (3 p.m. ET/noon PT) in the bronze medal game, which will be available via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com. Fans can watch all the action for free by following three steps:
STEP 1: Visit hockeycanada.fasthockey.com and sign up for a free FASTHockey account.
STEP 2: Like the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/worldu17.
STEP 3: Just prior to the game, click the HC on FASTHockey link on the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Facebook page to watch.
In other action Thursday:
Fifth-place game at Victoriaville – Pacific 7, Ontario 6Seventh-place game at Drummondville – Finland 8, Atlantic 2Ninth-place game at Victoriaville – West 4, Slovakia 1
The event brings together the top players in the world born in 1996 or later. The under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.
Nineteen of the 23 players who were selected for Canada’s National Junior Team and are currently playing in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, played at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and alumni of the tournament include past NHL first-overall picks Marc-André Fleury, Taylor Hall, Erik Johnson, Patrick Kane, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Alexander Ovechkin, John Tavares and Joe Thornton.