2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

3 Stars of the Day


1. Owen Tippett (Canada White)
Tippett saved his best performance for last, scoring a hat trick in the gold medal game to lead Canada White to gold. In front of a near-capacity crowd in Dawson Creek and a national television audience on TSN, Tippett scored a goal within the first four minutes of each period, clinching his spot on the tournament all-star team.

2. Arvid Söderblom (Sweden)
Söderblom’s first start of a tournament – in a preliminary round loss to Canada Red – lasted just one period. His second was much better. After giving up three goals in 20 minutes the first time around, the Swedish netminder got his revenge on Red, earning a 29-save shutout to lead the Scandinavians to the bronze medal.

3. Gabe Vilardi (Canada White)
Big goals in big moments. In all, Canada White won four games in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, and Vilardi scored the GWG in three of them, including the big one, three minutes into the second period of the gold medal game win over Russia. The Windsor (OHL) forward finished fifth in tournament scoring (4-3—7).


1. Maxim Zhukov (Russia)
What. A. Performance. Zhukov turned in the game of his life, leading Russia past Canada Red in a shootout thriller and back into the gold medal game. After allowing a first-period power play goal to Josh Brook, Zhukov was unbeatable, making 40 saves over the last 50 minutes, plus a perfect six-for-six in the shootout.

2. Evan Bouchard (Canada White)
The London (OHL) defenceman continues to lead from the blue-line, getting involved with both White goals in a semifinal win over Sweden. Bouchard took the shot that Austen Keating tipped to tie the game, then scored the winner 2:17 later, cementing his place as the tournament scoring leader among defencemen.

3. Bernard Isiguzo (Finland)
Finland closed out its tournament in dramatic style in Fort St. John, beating the highly-touted Americans for fifth place, and it was Isiguzo who was the overtime hero, driving to the net and jamming in the game-winner after the Finns had allowed the U,S. to erase a three-goal deficit and force the extra period.


1. Olle Eriksson Ek (Sweden)
The owner of a 4.15 goals-against average and .863 save percentage entering the game, the Swedish goaltender turned in unquestionably his best performance of the week, making 27 saves to lead the Swedes to an upset of the unbeaten Americans, the first win of the tournament, and a berth in Friday’s semifinals.

2. James Hamblin (Canada White)
The captain stepped up when his team needed it the most, sending it to the semifinals. With Canada White trailing Finland midway through the third period, Hamblin redirected an Owen Tippett shot to tie the game, and added an empty-netter in the dying minutes to clinch a quarter-final win and a trip to the final four.

3. Joseph Veleno (Canada Black)
The youngest Canadian player in the tournament, Veleno almost single-handedly led his team to the semifinals; he made a gorgeous cross-ice feed to Arnaud Durandeau for the first Black goal before scoring one of his own to tie the game in the third; the 15-year-old leads Black in scoring with four points in four games.


1. Eeli Tolvanen (Finland)
Simply put, Tuesday afternoon was the Eeli Tolvanen Show at North Peace Arena. The Finnish forward scored four of his team’s final five goals in a win over Sweden, and earned the primary assist on the one he didn’t score himself. Not surprisingly, Tolvanen sits atop the tournament scoring race after the preliminary round,

2. Maxime Comtois/Antoine Morand/Joël Teasdale (Canada Red)
You can’t have one without the others. The all-Quebec line was Red’s best in its come-from-behind win over Russia; Comtois scored the winner in overtime, Teasdale tied the game in the third period, and both added an assist. The trio has combined for 13 points in three games to help Red to a first place finish in Group B.

3. Martin Necas (Czech Republic)
One day after giving up a late lead in a shootout loss to Canada Black, the Czechs finished the job against Canada White. It was Necas who did the most damage; he gave the European side its first lead late in the second period and added the eventual game-winner in the third to help the Czechs secure second in Group A.


1. Jake Leschyshyn (Canada Black)
Black couldn’t afford to fall into an 0-2 hole, so Leschyshyn made sure it didn’t happen. The Grasswood, Sask., native brought the Canadians even for a short time in the second period, and was the hero in the shootout, scoring the game-winning goal in the sixth round to keep the Canadians’ hopes of a top-two finish alive.

2. Jesse Koskenkorva & Eeli Tolvanen (Finland)
The Finnish duo were equally important to their team’s win over Russia, so they share this spot. Tolvanen and Koskenkorva did all the scoring in the first two periods, finding the back of the net twice each to keep the Finns on top and ensure they kept pace with Russia and Canada Red in the chase for first place in Group B.

3. Evan Bouchard (Canada White)
It wasn’t the result he and his teammates wanted, but the London (OHL) defenceman was everywhere for White, helping set up four of the Canadians’ five goals to set a tournament-high for points in a game. Bouchard was a force on the blue-line on the power play; three of his four helpers came with the man advantage.


1. James Hamblin (Canada White)
Hamblin didn’t waste any time showing why he wears the ‘C’ for the Canadians; the Edmonton, Alta., native scored early in the second period to kick-start the Canada White comeback, set up Austen Keating for the tying goal in the third and added insurance in the dying minutes, leading White to the all-Canadian win.

2. Scott Reedy (United States)
One year ago, the Americans hit the six-goal mark in all three of their preliminary round games, so it shouldn’t come as much surprise that they did it again Sunday. Reedy was the offensive leader, scoring a pair of goals to help the U.S. to a comfortable win over the Czechs and its 14th consecutive round robin victory.

3. Michael DiPietro (Canada Red)
On a day of stand-out goaltending performances (Maxim Zhukov and Dylan St. Cyr come to mind), DiPietro was perhaps the best, finishing with 30 stops to lead the Canadians over Finland. The Windsor (OHL) netminder was at his best in the third period, making half of his saves to clinch the three points.

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