RED NEEDS OVERTIME TO DOWN SWEDES AT U17 CHALLENGE
JASON LA ROSE
QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – William Dufour (Quebec City, Que./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) finished a two-on-one for the winner in overtime, giving Canada Red a narrow 4-3 win over Sweden in a back-and-forth Group B match-up Monday at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Dufour jumped up to join a streaking Seth Jarvis (Winnipeg, Man./Portland, WHL), one-timing a set-up past Swedish goaltender Jesper Wallstedt to give the Canadians an important extra point as they found the win column for the first time.
Early on it looked as if Red would leave the qplex with all three points as it took an early two-goal lead.
Stephen Halliday (Toronto, Ont./Central Illinois, USHL) got the scoring started at 8:43, redirecting a Kaiden Guhle (Sherwood Park, Alta./Prince Albert, WHL) shot under the arm of Wallstedt, and Jacob Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill./Sarnia, OHL) went five-hole with a change-up at 13:09 for a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes.
The second period belonged to Lucas Raymond; the highly-touted Swede cut the deficit in half on a five-on-three power play early in the second period when he blasted a slap shot past Canadian netminder Will Cranley (Peterborough, Ont./Ottawa, OHL), and he went top shelf on the short-side a little more than six minutes later to pull the Scandinavians even.
Alexander Holtz put Sweden ahead with just under six minutes to go, using his speed to avoid a hit before getting a shot past the glove of Cranley, but Matthew Maggio (Tecumseh, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) forced a turnover behind the Swedish net and found Evan Vierling (Aurora, Ont./Flint, OHL) to tie the game just 24 seconds later.
Overtime featured chances at both ends before the winner, with Raymond narrowly missing his hat trick goal moments before Dufour ended it.
The teams finished dead even in shots on goal, 33-33.
Preliminary-round play ends Tuesday, with Sweden taking on Russia (12 p.m. AT) before Canada Red closes out its schedule against Finland (7 p.m. AT).