BLACK HOLDS ON TO BEAT U.S., TAKE FIRST PLACE IN GROUP A AT U17S
JASON LA ROSE
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Allan McShane (Barrie, Ont,/Erie, OHL) tipped in the game-winning goal and added two assists for good measure, spurring Canada Black to a huge 4-3 win over the United States in the preliminary-round finale Tuesday at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Canadians, who sat fourth in Group A when the puck dropped, jumped the U.S., Canada White and the Czech Republic to claim top spot in the group, and set up a Thursday quarter-final against Finland (7:30 p.m. ET).
The U.S. will take on Sweden in the day’s first quarter-final (12 p.m. ET).
Black captain Ty Smith (Lloydminster, Alta./Spokane, WHL) added a pair of power-play goals and Adam McMaster (Beamsville, Ont./North Bay, OHL) had a goal and two assists of his own in the win.
McMaster got the offence in gear quickly, camping out at the side of the net and patiently waiting for a deflected shot to drop from the sky before batting in the 1-0 goal just 4:09 in.
The Americans answered seven minutes later when Jake Wise finished off a mini 2-on-0 break with Joel Farabee, only for Smith to wire a wrist shot past U.S. goaltender Ryan Ullan at 13:39 to restore the Black lead.
Wise struck again early in the second period, picking his spot over the short-side shoulder of Canadian netminder Jacob Ingham (Barrie, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) on a U.S. power play, but Smith got his second midway through the middle frame, guiding a shot from the point through traffic and through Ullan.
McShane doubled the lead less than three minutes after that, cruising through the high slot and redirecting in a shot from Calen Addison (Brandon, Man./Lethbridge, WHL), making it 4-2 and spelling the end for Ullan, who was replaced by Keegan Karki.
The Americans tried to take back the momentum in the third period, outshooting Black 9-3 in the final 20 minutes and pulling within a goal when Farabee converted a power-play opportunity at 8:09.
But Ingham closed the door the rest of the way, clinching the win and first place.
The victory ended a rather impressive streak for the U.S.; it had gone 22 consecutive preliminary-round games against Canadian teams without a loss, dating back to a 7-5 defeat at the hands of Ontario in 2005.
The U.S. had also won 18 straight round-robin games overall before Tuesday.