CANADA DROPS LAST-SECOND DECISION AT JUNIOR CAMP
JASON LA ROSE
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - Kale Clague (Lloydminster, Alta./Brandon, WHL) led the offence with a goal and an assist, but a late goal left Team Canada hopefuls with a 4-3 loss to the U SPORTS all-stars Thursday at Canada's National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp.
The Canadians erased a pair of one-goal deficits before Jason Fram knocked in a rebound on the power play with just 6.5 seconds remaining to give the university stars their second win in as many nights.
After being shutout in the camp opener, Canada didn't waste any time getting on the board; Alex Formenton (King City, Ont./London, OHL) found a loose puck in front of Samuel Harvey (Alma, Que./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) for a shorthanded goal just 3:42 in.
Cole Sanford answered for U SPORTS before the end of the opening frame, converting a breakaway at 17:43 to send the game to the intermission tied 1-1.
Stephen Harper finished a pretty set-up from Fram to give the university side its first lead just 101 seconds into the second period, but Clague hammered a point shot through traffic and past Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) to get the juniors even on the power play less than three minutes later.
Sanford netted his second of the game just shy of the eight-minute mark of the third period, finding the puck in the slot and going low on Colton Point (North Bay, Ont./Colgate University, ECAC) to restore the U SPORTS lead, only for Robert Thomas (Aurora, Ont./London, OHL) to bat in a Clague rebound for a power-play goal to tie the game at 13:09.
The game seemed destined for overtime until a too-many-men penalty with 1:55 left gave U SPORTS the man advantage it needed to get the winner from Fram.
Canada's National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp will come to an end Friday with the Canadians taking on Denmark in a matinee (2 p.m. ET) before the final team is chosen.
Twenty-two players will be selected to represent Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Boxing Day in Buffalo, N.Y.