CROUSE SCORES WINNER, CANADA WINS BRONZE AT U18 WORLDS
LAPPEENRANTA, Finland – Lawson Crouse (Mt. Brydges, Ont./Kingston, OHL) scored the game-winning goal – his first point of the tournament – to help Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team win the bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship with a 3-1 victory over Sweden on Sunday.
It’s the third year in a row the Canadians have won a medal at the world championship; they won bronze in 2012 in Brno, Czech Republic, and gold last year in Sochi, Russia.
Brendan Perlini (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont./Niagara, OHL) and Travis Konecny (Clachan, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) scored the other goals for Canada, which beat Sweden for the second time in the tournament; it earned a 3-1 victory in the opener for both teams April 17.
Konecny had a goal and an assist, while Joe Hicketts (Kamloops, B.C./Victoria, WHL) chipped in with two helpers.
Mason McDonald (Halifax, N.S./Charlottetown, QMJHL) was terrific in the Canadian goal, finishing with 38 saves, 17 of them coming in the first period when Canada was outshot 18-9.
The Swedes got on the board first when Henrik Tornqvist scored shorthanded just past the midway point of the opening period, but Perlini got that back on Canadian power play seven minutes later, finishing off a feed from Jake Virtanen (Abbotsford, B.C./Calgary, WHL).
Crouse scored the winner 12 minutes into the second, taking a nifty feed from Konecny, streaking down the left wing and wiring a shot over the shoulder of Swedish goaltender Linus Söderström.
Canada missed an opportunity to extend its lead on a five-minute power play midway through the final period, but converted at four-on-four just 93 seconds after the major ended when Konecny blasted a shot past Söderström for his team-leading fourth goal of the tournament.
Virtanen and Travis Sanheim (Elkhorn, Man./Calgary, WHL) finished tied for the team lead with six points apiece; Virtanen had three goals and three assists, while Sanheim contributed six assists.