Ten OHL players win gold with Canada White at 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
Vancouver Giants forward Cameron Schmidt scored 9:18 into overtime as Canada White is golden at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, defeating the United States by a score of 2-1 in Charlottetown, PEI.
Jack Ivankovic (Mississauga Steelheads) was brilliant, making 34 saves to backstop Canada to its first World Under-17 Hockey Challenge gold medal finish since 2015. Ivankovic would join Canada White teammate Matthew Schaefer (Erie Otters) in being named to the tournament all-star team. Ivankovic posted a 2.51 goals-against average and tournament-leading .923 save percentage over eight games, making 216 saves along the way. Schaefer registered four points (1-3–4) in eight games.
“We really talked about wanting to get better every game,” said Canada White head coach John Dean (Soo Greyhounds).“I was very fortunate to experience a very difficult game at the World Under-18 Championship. As coaches we’re learning as well and my first game in Switzerland we lost 8-1 and we ended up winning a bronze medal. I took some notes from the coach at the time, Jeff Truitt, on how to handle it and stay even keel and realize you don’t win a gold medal in the first game. The message to the rest of the group was we’re going to get better every single day. We went to overtime five times, only won one game in regulation; these guys went into the final game and had experienced everything – blowing leads, comebacks, shootouts, overtime wins, coaches being upset and being happy. They went through it all so I couldn’t ask for a better tournament because they got to experience it all and I think there’s a lot of growth here.”
Ethan Czata (Niagara IceDogs picked up an assist on Canada White’s opening goal just 1:38 into action. American blueliner and Saginaw Spirit draft pick Charlie Trethewey levelled the score at one 9:49 into the third period to force overtime where Schmidt’s goal came unassisted to secure gold for Canada White.
OHL Players Winning Gold as Members of Team Canada White: G Jack Ivankovic (Mississauga), D Carson Cameron (Peterborough), D Cameron Reid (Kitchener), D Matthew Schaefer (Erie), D Rylan Singh (Guelph), F Ethan Czata (Niagara), F Owen Griffin (Oshawa), F Tyler Hopkins (Kingston), F Jack Nesbitt (Windsor), F Wesley Royston (Erie) — Head Coach John Dean (Soo)
For a complete look at both Canada White and Canada Red over the course of the tournament, click here.
Your 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge champions! 🥇🇨🇦⚪️
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) November 12, 2023