BLACK COMES BACK TO EDGE WHITE IN THRILLER
JASON LA ROSE
MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – Shane Wright (Burlington, Ont./Kingston, OHL) forced overtime – and finished his hat trick – with a pair of goals in the third period, and Zach Dean (Mount Pearl, N.L./Gatineau, QMJHL) ended it early in the extra period as Canada Black came from behind for a wild 6-5 win over Canada White in the opening game in Group A on Saturday at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Wright finished with four points, Dean had two goals and Brennan Othmann (Pickering, Ont./Flint, OHL) added a goal and two assists for Black, which trailed 4-1 midway through the second period and 5-3 entering the third.
Dean danced his way to the overtime winner, spinning away from a defender behind the net and walking out of the corner before beating White goaltender Tyler Brennan (Winnipeg, Man./Prince George, WHL) with a backhand to the far side.
The 11 goals are the most scored in an all-Canadian game at the tournament since the start of the national team format in 2014, and the most in a Maple Leaf vs. Maple Leaf match-up overall since Pacific edged Ontario 7-6 in the fifth-place game in 2013.
The scoring started early; Brett Harrison took a pretty feed from Matthew Savoie (St. Albert, Alta./Rink Hockey Academy, CSSHL) and beat netminder Ben Gaudreau (Corbeil, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) past the blocker to put White up 1-0 just 6:53 in.
Wright tied it less than two minutes later, wiring a wrist shot over the glove of Brennan on the power play, but Cole Sillinger (Regina, Sask./Medicine Hat, WHL) knocked in a loose puck after good work by Oscar Plandowski (Halifax, N.S./Charlottetown, QMJHL) to restore the White advantage after 20 minutes.
Mason McTavish (Carp, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) extended the lead even further in the opening half of the second period, poking in a power-play goal at 7:14 after a Carson Lambos (Winnipeg, Man./Winnipeg, WHL) shot squeezed through Gaudreau before going short-side off the left wing at 10:16 to make it 4-1.
That was all for Gaudreau, who was replaced by William Blackburn (Jonquière, Que./Jonquière, LHMAAAQ) after allowing four goals on 12 shots.
Black struck for a pair of goals – from Dean and Othmann – to make it a one-goal game again late in the middle frame, but Riley Kidney (Enfield, N.S./Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) set up Sillinger just eight seconds after the Othmann goal to put White up 5-3 through two periods.
Wright owned the third; he found a loose puck in close and buried his own rebound past Brennan at 11:33 before jumping all over a neutral-zone turnover and going upstairs on a partial breakaway to tie the game with 3:19 left.
That set up Dean’s heroics and gave Black just its third win in seven all-time tries against White.
Canada Black gets back to action Monday afternoon against the Czech Republic (3 p.m. MT), right before Canada White faces off with the United States (7 p.m. MT).