August 15, 2002
Canada's National Under 18 Team has advanced to the semi-finals at the 2002 Eight Nations Tournament with a 6-5 win over Switzerland on Thursday.
Switzerland, which proved to be Canada's toughest competition so far, made things close, coming back from a three-goal deficit and outshooting Canada 33-26.
Switzerland opened the scoring at the 1:58 mark of the first period on a powerplay goal by Victor Stancescu. Dion Phaneuf (Red Deer, WHL/Edmonton, AB) tied the game at one at the 4:18 mark, beating Swiss goaltender Michael Brugger. Just over two minutes later, Phanuef's second goal of the game gave Canada a 2-1. Switzerland added one more before the period finished, deadlocking the two teams at two heading into the second period.
Canada exploded for three goals in the first seven and a half minutes of the second period to take a 5-2 lead. Goal scorers were Brent Seabrook (Lethbridge, WHL/Delta, BC), Anthony Stewart (Kingston, OHL/Toronto, ON) and Nigel Dawes (Kootenay, WHL/Winnipeg, MB). Switzerland would add a penalty shot goal later in the period, making the score 5-3 with 20 minutes to play.
In the final frame, Corey Perry (London, OHL/Peterborough, ON) gave Canada a 6-3 lead at the 0:42 mark. That lead would be short lived as Fabian Debrunner and Kevin Romy both scored for Switzerland, making it a one-goal game. Canada's defence closed the doors from that point on, solidifying a 6-5 win.
Kelowna Rockets goaltender Josh Lepp (Dalmeny, SK) stopped 28 of 33 shots he faced to earn his second victory of the tournament.
Canada's powerplay, which has been lethal throughout the tournament was red-hot again, going 4 for 9. With the man advantage, Canada is 13 for 29, operating at a remarkable 45%.
Canada finished first in Pool A and will face the second place finisher in Pool B (Czech Republic or Russia, who play each other later tonight) in a semi-final match-up Friday. The time and location of the game is still undetermined.
For more information:
Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations