PIESTANY, Slovakia – Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team will play for the gold medal at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament after defeating Russia 3-1 in Friday’s semifinal in Piestany. Canada will face the United States, which beat the Czech Republic 5-3 in the other semifinal, in the gold medal game on Saturday in Piestany, Slovakia (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT).
On Friday, Canada got a goal and an assist from Spencer Watson (London, Ont./Kingston, OHL), and goals from Sam Bennett (Holland Landing, Ont./Kingston, OHL) and Clark Bishop (St. John’s, N.L./Cape Breton, QMJHL) to beat the Russians for the 10th time in 13 all-time summer under-18 meetings.
Watson and Bennett scored in the first and last minutes of the first period, respectively, and Bishop added insurance into an empty net with 62 seconds remaining to send Canada to the gold medal game for the sixth year in a row. Julio Billia (St-Léonard, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) needed to make just 12 saves to record the win.
Canada finished first in Group A in preliminary round play with a 1-1-0-1 record, including wins over the Czech Republic (4-0) and Swizterland (4-3 shootout), and a loss to Sweden (4-3). The U.S. finished atop Group B with a 2-0-1-0 record. Saturday’s game will mark the 17th all-time summer under-18 meeting between Canada and the United States; Canada holds a 9-4-3 advantage in the first 16 match-ups.
Canada has won the summer under-18 tournament five consecutive years and eight of the last nine. Its roster is made up of 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders, and features eight players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven from the Western Hockey League and seven from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
There will be no TV or radio coverage of the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, but fans can follow all of the action with live updates at www.hockeycanada.ca. Hockey Canada’s official website is also the place to find game summaries, stories and other features.
NOTE TO MEDIA: All Team Canada media inquiries during the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament can be directed to team manager Shawn Bullock (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information on Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team and Hockey Canada, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, or follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada, www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.twitter.com/hc_men.