August 16, 2002
BIECLEV, Slovakia (CP) - Nathan Horton of the OHL's Oshawa Generals scored twice Thursday as Canada advanced to the gold-medal final at the Eight Nations under-18 hockey tournament with a 6-3 win over Russia.
The Canadians will face the Czech Republic, who had a shootout-win over Switzerland in the other semifinal, at 12 EDT Sunday in Piestany, Slovakia.
Anthony Stewart of the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs, Nigel Dawes of the WHL's Kootenay Ice, Stephen Dixon of the QMJHL's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Corey Perry of the OHL's London Knights also scored as Canada remained undefeated in four tournament games.
"We played very well," said Canadian coach Jim Hulton from a bus en route to the team's accomodations in Piestany. "The key to the game was killing a five-minute penalty in the first period."
That penalty, to Alexandre Picard of the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads, was a five-minute major and game misconduct for cross-checking at 14:07. Canada, already leading 3-1, killed it and never looked back against the feisty Russians.
Hulton expects the Czechs to play a puck-control game in the final like the Russians did Friday.
"It was a great test tonight .ñ.ñ. the (Russians and Czechs) are very similar," said Hulton, also coach of the OHL's Belleville Bulls. "We hadn't seen any games like that in our first three."
Canada, which has won every under 18 world tournament since 1997, will be looking for its sixth straight gold.
"We're very happy," Hulton said. "That was our goal since the beginning and to finally get a chance to win a gold medal is exciting."
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Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations