U.S. KEEPS SCORING, ADVANCES TO GOLD MEDAL GAME
JASON LA ROSE
MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – Jeremy Wilmer scored twice in a four-goal second period, and the United States booked its spot in the gold medal game at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 7-3 semifinal win over Canada White on Friday night.
The Americans will go in search of their sixth U17 gold medal with they face off against Russia in the gold medal game on Saturday night (7 p.m. MT) at the Canalta Centre.
The U.S. spread around the scoring once again; six different players scored goals and 12 recorded at least a point. Red Savage finished with a goal and an assist and Jack Devine had two helpers to join Wilmer with multi-point efforts.
The Americans have scored 35 goals in five games, far and away the highest total in the tournament.
Not surprisingly, it was Chaz Lucius who opened the scoring. He swatted a rebound past White goaltender Tyler Brennan (Winnipeg, Man./Prince George, WHL) midway through the first period for his tournament-leading seventh goal and 10th point.
Colby Saganiuk joined him on the scoresheet before the end of the frame, sweeping in a centring pass from Ryan St. Louis.
As they have done more than once in the tournament, the American offence scored in bulk in the second period; it struck for three goals in just over three minutes to take charge.
Roman Schmidt netted a shorthanded marker at 2:20, hammering a one-timer past Brennan, and Wilmer cleaned up a rebound at 4:46 to chase the Canadian netminder after four goals on 14 shots.
Red Savage welcomed William Rousseau (Trois-Rivières, Que./Trois-Rivières, LHMAAAQ) to the game less than a minute later, knocking in his own second-chance opportunity at the top of the crease to make it 5-0.
Guillaume Richard (Cap-Santé, Que./Tri-City, USHL) finally gave the Canadians fans something to cheer about when his point shot pinballed off a U.S. leg and past Kaidan Mbereko for a power-play marker, but Wilmer got his second late in the middle frame, stepping out from behind the goal-line and roofing a shot over a lunging Rousseau to make it 6-1 after 40 minutes.
Dylan Duke converted on an American power play midway through the third period before Richard and Charles-Alexis Legault (Pierrefonds, Que./Lac St-Louis, LHMAAAQ) added consolation goals in the final minute for the Canadians.
Final shots on goal favoured the U.S., 33-24.
Canada White will have a quick turnaround before it takes on the Czech Republic for bronze on Saturday afternoon (3 p.m. MT).