SUSSEX, N.B. – Jack Finley (Kelowna, B.C./Spokane, WHL) broke open a tie game with six-and-a-half minutes to go, sending Canada Black to a 4-2 win over Finland in pre-tournament play Thursday ahead of the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Kyle Crnkovic (Chestermere, Alta./Saskatoon, WHL), Josh Lawrence (Fredericton, N.B./Saint John, QMJHL) and Reid Valade (Caledon, Ont./Kitchener, OHL) – into an empty net – had the other goals for the Canadians, who held a pair of one-goal leads before Finley put them ahead for good.
Joel Määttä and Jesse Seppälä scored the goals for Finland, which takes on Sweden in the tournament opener Saturday at the qplex in Quispamsis (3:30 p.m. AT). Black gets its schedule started with an all-Canadian showdown with White on Sunday at Harbour Station in Saint John (4 p.m. AT).
FREDERICTON JUNCTION, N.B. – Théo Rochette (Donnacona, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) tied the game with one second to go and finished his hat trick 19 seconds into overtime, leading Canada White to a wild 5-4 come-from-behind win over Russia in pre-tournament action Thursday ahead of the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Connor McClennon (Wainwright, Alta./Kootenay, WHL) added a goal and two assists for White, which scored all three of its third-period goals on the power-play, including the game-tying marker by Rochette with goaltender Sebastian Cossa (Fort McMurray, Alta./Edmonton, WHL) on the bench in the dying seconds.
Daniil Gushchin led the offence with two goals for the Russians, who get Group B play started Saturday at the qplex in Quispamsis against Canada Red (7:30 p.m. AT). Canada White sees the ice next in its Group A opener Sunday, an all-Canadian match-up with Canada Black (4 p.m. AT).
ST. STEPHEN, N.B. – Matthew Maggio (Tecumseh, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) scored twice in a five-goal second period, helping Canada Red pull away in the middle frame and earn a 5-2 win over the United States in a pre-World Under-17 Hockey Challenge game Thursday night.
Payton Mount (Victoria, B.C./Seattle, WHL), Jacob Perreault (Hindsale, Ill./Sarnia, OHL) and Jake Murray (Oakville, Ont./Kingston, OHL) also found the back of the net for the Canadians, who struck for their first four goals in a span of just over eight minutes to turn a scoreless game into a sizable lead.
Eamon Powell and Daniyal Dzhaniyev had the goals for the Americans, who begin defence of their gold medal Sunday against the Czech Republic at Harbour Station in Saint John (12 p.m. AT). Red is the first Canadian team to see action, taking on Russia in its Group B opener Saturday night at the qplex in Quispamsis (7:30 p.m. AT).