LONDON, ONTARIO – Team Ontario will put its winning streak on the line when it faces Team USA in the gold medal game of the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Friday at the John Labatt Centre (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN/RDS).
Team Ontario moved to 5-0 and reached the final with a 4-3 win over Team West in the first semi-final on Thursday. Peter Holland (Caledon, ON/Guelph, OHL), Taylor Hall (Kingston, ON/Windsor, OHL), Daniel Maggio (Lasalle, ON/Sudbury, OHL) and Casey Cizikas (Mississauga, ON/Mississauga, OHL) scored for Ontario. James Henry (Winnipeg, MB/Vancouver, WHL), Adam Hughesman (East St. Paul, MB/Tri-City, WHL) and Jason Gardiner (Winnipeg, MB/Tri-City, WHL) scored for Team West.
In the other semi-final on Thursday, Team USA defeated Team Pacific 3-2. Team USA led 2-0 until Chase Schaber (Red Deer, AB/Calgary, WHL) got Pacific on the board at 17:14 of the second. USA led 3-1 late in the third when Ryan Howse (Prince George, BC/Chilliwack, WHL) scored to make it 3-2, but that was as close as Pacific would get.
Ontario will try to become the first team to win all of its games at this event since 2001, when Team USA went 6-0 en route to the gold medal in New Glasgow and Truro, NS.
Team Ontario is looking for its sixth championship all-time at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. That record includes winning the split championship in 1998. Ontario’s last championship came in 2004 in St. John’s, NL.
Team USA seeks its third championship, having won back-to-back titles in 2001 (New Glasgow/Truro, NS) and 2002 (Selkirk/Stonewall, MB).
Friday’s bronze medal game (1 p.m. ET) at the JLC will feature Team West and Team Pacific. These two teams met in the 2005 gold medal game, with West winning 3-1. Team Pacific is looking for its sixth medal since 2000. Pacific won bronze in 2000, then followed with silver medals in 2001, 2002, 2005.
Other results on Thursday night at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge:
9th place – Germany 5, Slovakia 1
7th place – Quebec 3, Atlantic 1
5th place – Russia 5, Finland 4
Media enquiries for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge can be directed to Chris Jurewicz. He is on site at the event and can be reached at (403) 880-5819.