ONTARIO CRUISES BY SWEDEN TO TAKE FIFTH AT U17S
by David Brien
NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. – Gold was the goal for both Ontario and Sweden at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, but instead the teams met Friday afternoon in the fifth-place game, with the Canadian side earning a 6-3 win.
Dylan Strome (Missisauga, Ont./Erie, OHL) and Lawson Crouse (Mount Brydges, Ont./Kingston, OHL) had two goals apiece for Ontario, with Mitchell Vande Sompel (London, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) and Brett McKenzie (Vars, Ont./North Bay, OHL) adding singles.
Lucas Carlsson, Anton Kalte and Rasmus Asplund answered for the Swedes, who finished sixth one year after winning their first-ever under-17 gold medal in Victoriaville, Que.
Ontario benefited from an early power play, with Mitchell Marner (Thornhill, Ont./London, OHL) and Graham Knott (Holland Landing, Ont./Niagara, OHL) playing give-and-go before finding Vande Sompel for the 1-0 goal three minutes in.
Carlsson answered for Sweden minutes later when he picked up a shot that went wide and buried the backboard rebound past Ben Blacker (Oakville, Ont./Milton, OJHL).
McKenzie and Crouse added first-period goals for Ontario, while Swedish forward Anton Kalte made it 3-2 heading into the first intermission.
Up only a goal despite outshooting the Swedes 17-6, Ontario head coach Roger Hunt shook things up to begin the second period, replacing Blacker with Troy Timpano (Pickering, Ont./Sudbury, OHL), who stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced over the final 40 minutes.
Knott opened the second period with his second of three assists on the day, feeding Mitchell Marner (Thornhill, Ont./London, OHL), who shredded a Swedish defender with a highlight reel under-the-stick deke before feeding a perfect one-timer pass to Dylan Strome (Missisauga, Ont./Erie, OHL) to make it 4-2.
Crouse made it 5-2 with his second at 8:45, giving Ontario its biggest lead at three goals.
Asplund ended a run of three straight Ontario goals in the final minute of the second period, but Strome’s second goal and third point capped the scoring midway through final frame.
Ontario scored twice on eight power play opportunities, while the Swedes had just one chance with the man advantage.
The Canadians outshot Sweden 42-24.