CANADA OPENS JUNIOR SELECTION CAMP WITH WIN
BOISBRIAND, Que. – Sam Steel (Sherwood Park, Alta./Regina, WHL) found the back of the net twice and Thomas Chabot (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) chipped in two assists to lead Canada’s National Junior Team hopefuls to a 5-3 win over the U Sports All-Stars in the opening game Monday at selection camp.
Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) got the start in the Canadian goal and stopped all 10 shots he faced before giving way to Michael McNiven (Georgetown, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) at the midway mark.
At the other end of the rink, Team Canada hopeful Connor Ingram (Imperial, Sask./Kamloops, WHL) went the distance for U Sports, and finished with 24 saves in a losing effort.
Canada scored first on the power play when Dylan Strome (Mississauga, Ont./Erie, OHL) took a pass from Chabot and snapped a wrist shot past a screened Ingram just 5:49 after puck dropped.
The Canadians doubled their lead at 13:48 when Taylor Raddysh (Caledon, Ont./Erie, OHL) took a cross-ice feed from Philippe Myers (Moncton, N.B./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) and redirected it over Ingram’s glove.
Two quick goals to open the second period made it a 4-0 game; Steel intercepted a breakout pass in the offensive zone and went inside the far post at 3:06, before Mitchell Stephens (Peterborough, Ont./Saginaw, OHL) struck with a goal of his own just 65 seconds later.
The rest of the middle frame belonged to U Sports, which struck three times to cut into the Canadian lead.
Elgin Pierce sprung Philippe Maillet at 13:23 for a breakaway goal, deking around McNiven, who was facing only his second shot of the game after replacing Hart.
Just over two minutes later, a power play led to a Brett Welychka one-timer that was just out of McNiven’s reach, and Nathan Chiarlitti made it 4-3 just 31 seconds after that, taking a pass in the low slot and firing just inside the post.
Steel added his second goal at 11:31 of the third period – the lone goal of the final frame – capping off a pretty passing play between Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL) and Myers.
Canada scoring on two of its five chances with the power play, while the U Sports All-Stars netted one power play goal on four tries.
The teams will face off again Tuesday afternoon (1 p.m. ET/11 a.m. MT) in the second of three exhibition games as part of Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp.