DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Team Canada White has won the gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, beating Russia 6-2 in Saturday night’s gold medal game at the Encana Events Centre.
Team Canada White won the first gold medal since Ontario in 2011, prior to the start of the three-team national team format. Before 2014, Canada was represented by five regional teams: Atlantic, Ontario, Pacific, Quebec, and West.
On Saturday night, Owen Tippett (Peterborough, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) opened the scoring just 86 seconds in before Russia countered with two before the end of the first period. Tippett tied the game just 33 seconds into the second and Gabe Vilardi (Kingston, Ont./Windsor, OHL) scored the eventual game-winner just over two minutes later.
Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Calgary, Alta./Spokane, WHL) added another goal before the end of the middle frame, and Tippett – with his hat trick goal – and Matthew Struthers (Milton, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) capped the scoring in the third. Team Canada White goaltender Ian Scott (Calgary, Alta./Prince Albert/WHL) made 21 saves to earn the win.
Earlier Saturday, Sweden won the bronze medal with a 3-0 victory over Team Canada Red. Sweden scored three goals in a span of 7:34 in the first period, including two from Fabian Zetterlund. Swedish goaltender Arvid Söderblom made 29 saves to earn the shutout. The Swedes claimed their sixth medal ever at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and second bronze in as many years.
Following the gold medal game, the tournament all-star team was announced.
2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge all-star team:
Goaltender: Maxim Zhukov (Russia)
Defence: Evan Bouchard (Team Canada White)
Defence: Timothy Liljegren (Sweden)
Forward: Maxime Comtois (Team Canada Red)
Forward: Owen Tippett (Team Canada White)
Forward: Eeli Tolvanen (Finland)
The 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge brought together the top players in the world born in 1999 or later. The three Canadian teams were joined by the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States, forming two groups of four teams.
“We are so proud of the work done by host committees and volunteers in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, of the tournament we put on, and the legacy it will leave behind,” said Wally Ferris, co-chair of the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. “Fans have been treated to world-class hockey, and a near-capacity crowd at the Encana Events Centre saw a thrilling gold medal game with a Canadian team winning gold.”