Canadian World Junior hopefuls take pair of wins over U Sports All-Stars
A total of 30 CHL players putting their best foot forward at Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp in Blainville, Quebec have taken a pair of victories over the U Sports All-Stars at the Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau.
The two-game showcase featured 22 CHL graduates competing for U Sports as National Junior Team hopefuls claimed a 5-3 victory on Monday followed by a 3-0 shutout win on Tuesday.
Canada’s roster was trimmed to 27 following the two-game set as Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors), Nick Merkley (Kelowna Rockets), Victor Mete (London Knights) and Austin Wagner (Regina Pats) were re-assigned to their CHL clubs.
Following the four-day camp, 22 players will be selected to represent Canada and don the Maple Leaf on home ice for the first time since 2015 when Canada won gold in front of a sold-out crowd of over 19,000 fans at the Air Canada Centre. This year’s event will be held in Montreal and Toronto from December 26 to January 5.
Here’s a look at how Monday and Tuesday’s action in Blainville unfolded.
MONDAY – CANADA 5, U SPORTS ALL-STARS 3
Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel (Regina Pats) scored twice and Ottawa Senators first round pick Thomas Chabot (Saint John Sea Dogs) had two assists as National Junior Team hopefuls claimed a 5-3 win. Dylan Strome (Erie Otters), Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters) and Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw Spirit) also had goals for Canada while Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips) stopped all 10 shots he faced. U Sports scored all three of their goals in the second period as Philippe Maillet (UNB/Victoriaville Tigres), Brett Welychka (Carleton/Belleville Bulls) and Nathan Chiarlitti (McGill/Owen Sound Attack) drew the All-Stars to within a goal. Team Canada outshot U Sports 29-23 in the win, going 2-for-5 on the power play.
TUESDAY – CANADA 3, U SPORTS ALL-STARS 0
Connor Ingram (Kamloops Blazers) and Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips) combined for a 15-save shutout as Canadian National Junior Team hopefuls blanked the U Sports All-Stars 3-0. Victor Mete (London Knights) opened the scoring 7:35 into the first period before Nicolas Roy (Chicoutimi Sagueneens) and Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors) tacked on second period markers. Canada outshot U Sports 27-15, going 1-for-7 on the power play.
Canada’s National Junior Team will play a trio of pre-tournament games, beginning on Monday December 19th against Finland in Montreal. Canada takes on the Czech Republic in Ottawa on Wednesday December 21st followed by a matchup against Switzerland in Toronto on Friday December 23rd.
Canada’s first action in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship comes on Monday December 26th against Russia in Toronto.
For more information on Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp, please visit hockeycanada.ca.