CANADA DROPS SHOWCASE FINALE TO U.S.
JASON LA ROSE
PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Sam Steel (Sherwood Park, Alta./Regina, WHL) and Jonah Gadjovich (Whitby, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) scored to make it a one-goal game in the dying minutes, but Canada came up short in a 7-5 loss to the U.S. on Saturday in the finale of Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp.
Steel finished with a goal and two assists for the Canadians, who cut a 6-3 deficit to 6-5 with just over six minutes to go before the Americans added an empty-net goal to cap the scoring.
The U.S. opened the scoring on the power play when Joey Anderson redirected a Patrick Harper shot from the point, but Jordan Kyrou (Toronto, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) equalized for Canada with a man-advantage marker of his own, finishing a cross-ice feed from Steel.
Givani Smith (Toronto, Ont./Guelph, OHL) gave the Canadians their first lead at 16:39, banking a shot off a skate and past American goaltender Joseph Woll, but Adam Fox ripped a shot past netminder Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) just 43 seconds late to send the game to the first intermission tied 2-2.
Anderson added his second of the game on another power play just 83 seconds into the second period, and Kailer Yamamoto got behind the Canadian defence to make it a two-goal game at 9:14.
Pierre-Luc Dubois (Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Que./Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL) got one back for Canada before the end of the middle frame, getting his stick on a set-up from Taylor Raddysh (Caledon, Ont./Erie, OHL) to make it a 4-3 game after 40 minutes.
Just as they did in the second period, the Americans struck quickly in the third; Patrick Harper danced into the Canadian zone and picked the top corner past Dylan Wells (St. Catharines, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) on the power play just 48 seconds after the puck dropped.
Ryan Poehling added the fourth U.S. power play goal at 6:42, giving the Americans their biggest lead of the game at 6-3 with 13:18 to go, but the Canadians refused to roll over.
Steel was first at 11:47, hammering a one-timer past Woll from the top of the circle, and Gadjovich batted in the 6-5 goal at 13:27, setting up a wild finish.
But the comeback was not to be, and Anderson finished his hat trick into the empty net with 47 seconds left.