KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Ty Dellandrea (Port Perry, Ont./Flint, OHL) and Jack Studnicka (Tecumseh, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) had a goal and an assist apiece, and Canada opened up a four-goal lead in the second period before hanging on for a 6-5 win over the United States in the finale for both teams Saturday at the Sport Chek World Junior Showcase.
After dropping a pair of split-squad games to the U.S. on Tuesday, the Canadians finished the summer camp with three consecutive wins, beating Finland 4-3 in overtime on Thursday and Sweden 4-1 on Friday.
It was the Americans who struck early, with Joel Farabee hammering a one-timer past Canadian goaltender Matthew Welsh (Halifax, N.S./Charlottetown, QMJHL) at the 3:58 mark.
Dellandrea got that back less than four minutes later, finding a rebound at the side of the net, and Nick Suzuki (London, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) wired in a power-play goal only 57 seconds after that to send Canada to the intermission up 2-1.
The early stages of the second period were all red-and-white.
Michael Rasmussen (South Surrey, B.C./Tri-City, WHL) doubled the lead 32 seconds into the middle frame, redirecting in a Jared McIsaac (Truro, N.S./Halifax, QMJHL) shot, and MacKenzie Entwistle (Georgetown, Ont./Hamilton, OHL) got a couple of fortuitous bounces on a dump-in to make it 4-1 at 3:01.
Studnicka finished the flurry at 7:22, streaking down the right wing and going off the post and in past Keith Petruzzelli, chasing the American netminder with a third goal in a span of six minutes and 50 seconds.
The U.S. started its comeback with a Jay O’Brien goal at 9:15, and Noah Cates punched in a loose puck off a scramble in front to make it a two-goal game after 40 minutes.
O’Brien potted his second at 2:36 of the third period off a Quinn Hughes rebound to pull the Americans within one, but Calen Addison (Brandon, Man./Lethbridge, WHL) answered 85 seconds later, rifling the eventual game-winning goal over a sprawling Cayden Primeau to make it 6-4.
Paul Cotter got one back with Primeau on the bench and less than three minutes to go, but Matthew Villalta (Godfrey, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) and the Canadian defence clamped down in the dying minutes to clinch the win.
Villalta finished with 23 saves in 31 minutes of work in relief of Welsh, who made 11 saves.
The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship begins Dec. 26 in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.
“Yeah I thought that line (Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Ty Dellandrea and Jack Studnicka) really played well. Jaret Anderson-Dolan has been really good all week. Right from the get-go, he came here to work, he knew that’s the way he wanted to play, and he’s led the way. And that group really did a good job.”
Canadian head coach Tim Hunter on which players stood out to him this week
“I talked to our group during the game about, they’re all trying to score, but they’re really going to impress me by playing the right way. If you play the right way, that’s the process, the end result will be what we get, and that’s a win.”
Tim Hunter on what he looks for in his group
“Every time you put that Maple Leaf on, you want to be on the winning side of things, and represent your country well. It was a physical game, both teams wanted to win, and it was fun to be a part of.”
Jack Studnicka on representing his country
“It was a tight game, two competitive teams who have a bit of a rivalry, and it was a hard-fought game – competitive right to the buzzer.”
Ty Dellandrea on playing the United States to close out the Sport Chek World Junior Showcase