Owen Tippett (Peterborough, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) scored, but Canada’s junior hopefuls dropped a 5-1 decision to the U SPORTS all-stars Friday afternoon in the finale at Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp.
Despite the final score, Michael DiPietro (Amherstburg, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) – who tended goal for U SPORTS – was the story. He turned away 32 of the 33 shots he faced and made a number of key saves, including a massive sprawling stop in the second period to preserve the lead after Tippett had pulled Canada within one.
Carson Stadnyk opened the scoring for U SPORTS late in the first period. With the puck loose in front of the Canadian net, Stadnyk tipped it up and over netminder Ian Scot (Calgary, Alta./Prince Albert, WHL).
Kris Bennett extended the lead two minutes later, finishing off a pretty passing play from Dylan Busenius and Luke Philp to send the university side to the dressing room up 2-0.
Tippett’s goal came early in the second off a pass from Cody Glass (Winnipeg, Man./Portland, WHL). Tippett danced through the U SPORTS defence and had his initial shot stopped by DiPietro, but he managed to corral the rebound before DiPietro could cover it and banged it home to get Canada on the board.
U SPORTS answered with three unanswered goals to put the game away. Collin Shirley was first up with a quick shot from in close at 10:15. Bennett followed up with his second of the night to make it 4-1 at 12:04 and Christopher Clapperton tapped in the rebound of his own shot with 22 seconds left in the middle frame to make it a four-goal lead after 40 minutes.
Scott and Matthew Villalta (Godfrey, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) split time between the pipes for Canada. Scott stopped 15 of 17 shots before giving way to Villalta, who turned aside eight of 11.