CANADA SETTLES FOR WJC SILVER AFTER SHOOTOUT LOSS
MONTREAL, Que. – Tournament MVP Thomas Chabot (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) scored once and added an assist, but Canada’s National Junior Team was left with a silver medal after a 5-4 shootout loss to the United States in the gold medal game of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship on Thursday night.
The silver medal is the 10th for Canada, pushing its all-time medal count to 31 (16 gold, 10 silver, five bronze) in 41 appearances at the World Juniors, dating back to the inaugural IIHF tournament in 1977.
Chabot led all defenceman and finished tied for fourth in tournament scoring with 10 points (four goals, six assists); in addition to MVP, he added Top Defenceman honours and earned a spot on the all-star team.
Mathieu Joseph (Chambly, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) joined Chabot as the lone multi-point scorers for Canada, adding goal and an assist of his own, while Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) was solid again between the pipes, making 31 saves.
After a thrilling 80 minutes of regulation and overtime failed to produce a victor, Troy Terry netted the game-winning goal for the Americans in the fourth round of the shootout.
Hart and American counterpart Tyler Parsons were terrific, stopping nine of 10 shooters after combining for 77 saves during five-on-five play. Canada finished with a 50-36 advantage in shots, including 17-7 in overtime.
The Canadians got the Bell Centre crowd on its feet early, taking a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes in.
Chabot broke the ice at 4:58, tapping in a feed from Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL), and Jeremy Lauzon (Val-d’Or, Que./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) wired in a wrist shot just over four minutes later for a two-goal advantage that carried into the first intermission.
The U.S. got one back 3:04 into the second period when Charlie McAvoy beat Hart from the slot, and a point shot went in off Kieffer Bellows on an American power play to tie the game midway through the middle frame.
A wild third period started with Nicolas Roy (Amos, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) going short-side on Parsons and restoring the lead with the Canadians on the power play at 1:52, and Joseph raced away to make it a 4-2 game at 4:05, scoring his first goal of the tournament.
But Bellows got his second of the game 39 seconds after that, and Colin White parked himself at the side of the Canadian net and redirected a feed from Adam Fox past Hart at 7:07 to tie the game again.
The four goals came on four consecutive shots in a span of five minutes and 15 seconds.
An end-to-end 20-minute overtime couldn’t decide it, despite the best efforts of both teams, sending the gold medal game to a shootout for just the second time in IIHF World Junior Championship history.
Dylan Strome (Mississauga, Ont./Erie, OHL), Barzal, Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./University of North Dakota, NCHC) and Anthony Cirelli (Woodbridge, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) were denied by Parsons on the first four Canadian attempts before Roy had the puck roll off his stick on the final chance, giving the U.S. its fourth gold.
The 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship begins Dec. 26, 2017 in Buffalo, N.Y., and will feature the first outdoor game in tournament history when the Canadians and Americans meet at New Era Field on Dec. 29.