Maple Ridge players on the only winning Canadian team on day one of the World U-17 Hockey Challenge

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The first day of the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge has come to a close with black teams from the United States, Sweden and Canada emerging victorious.

The international tournament kicked off with the USA taking on Finland at the Langley Events Centre, where the Americans took a 2-0 lead early in the first period. However, Finland retaliated with three goals in the second period, unanswered by the United States team. In the closing stages of the game, the situation turned and the Americans scored three clean sheets, giving them a 5-3 win.

The next two games of the tournament started simultaneously, with Sweden meeting Canada White at Delta and the remaining two Canadian teams playing each other at Langley.

At Delta’s Sungod Arena, Canada White took a 1-0 first-half lead thanks to a late goal from Prince George’s own Miguel Marques, assisted by Roger McQueen and Charlie Elick.

A second-half penalty by Chetwynd’s Cayden Lindstrom allowed Sweden forward Alexander Zetterberg to score a power-play goal, ending the game a goal apiece.

The third period was a bit back and forth, with Sweden opening the scoring with a goal from Elliott Sigrell less than two minutes into the final period. Just over a minute from time there was a goal without assist from Canada White forward Gavin Hodnett. Just 30 seconds later, thanks to Linus Eriksson, Sweden scored the opener and gave them a 3-2 win over Canada White.

In the duel between Canada Black and Canada Red at Langley, the two teams pursued very different scoring chances.

The first third of the game was relatively muted, with Canada Black’s only goal coming when forward Clarke Caswell netted the puck on a Cole Beaudoin assist.

The second third was dominated by Canada Red from start to finish.

After Canada Black defender Tyson Buczkowski scored a hook penalty less than a minute into the half, Canada Red’s Tarin Smith was able to capitalize on the man advantage by scoring a power play goal with assists from Nathan Villeneuve and Sacha Boisvert. Just over a minute later, Canada Red struck again with a goal from Michael Misa. But Canada Black broke that stream of goals with a Justin Poirier own goal, assisted by Malcolm Spence and Josh Fluker. But just 10 seconds later, Canada Red scored another goal thanks to Surrey’s Tomas Mrsic, who was assisted by Jett Luchanko and Braedyn Rogers.

Canada Black went into the closing stages a goal down but remained determined and ended the game with a goal from Zayne Parekh, assisted by Vancouver’s Tyson Buczkowski and Macklin Celebrini. But Parekh wasn’t quite finished and scored again for another goal with less than a minute to go. This time it was a power-play goal, assisted by Thomas Desruisseaux and Lucas Karmiris, who capitalized on Ben Danford’s interference penalty.

Canada Red failed to force an overtime, although it pulled its goalie and took advantage of the man. Canada Black goaltender Louka Cloutier held off the last offensive onslaught to make a total of 40 saves and a .930 save, the best of any goaltender on day one of the tournament. It was this performance that led to Cloutier being named Player of the Match and leading his team to a 4-3 win over Canada Red.

“We knew he was going to give us a chance to win… You’re dealing with teenagers, there will be chances, mistakes will happen – it’s fun – but that’s why you need a goalkeeper. He made some really big saves tonight; He was our MVP without question,” said Canada Black coach Mark O’Leary.

Today, the United States team will take on the Czech Republic at 19:00 in Delta, while Canada Black will take on Finland at 19:00 in Langley in hopes of securing their second win of the tournament.

For a full schedule, tickets or more information, visit https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/national-championships/men/world-u17/2022.


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Tij Iginla from Lake Country, BC is a forward for the Seattle Thunderbirds and was selected as a member of the Canada Red team for the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. (Langley Events Centre/Special on The News)

Gabriel Guilbault (right) of Burnaby, BC is a defenseman for the Penticton Vees and was selected to be a member of the Canada Red team for the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.  (Langley Events Centre/Special on The News)

Gabriel Guilbault (right) of Burnaby, BC is a defenseman for the Penticton Vees and was selected to be a member of the Canada Red team for the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. (Langley Events Centre/Special on The News)

Louka Cloutier was named Player of the Match in the November 3 matchup against Canada Red after making 40 saves from 43 shots.  (Langley Events Centre/Special on The News)

Louka Cloutier was named Player of the Match in the November 3 matchup against Canada Red after making 40 saves from 43 shots. (Langley Events Centre/Special on The News)

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