Chase Stillman (Peterborough, Ont./Sudbury, OHL) was the hero with 28.1 seconds left in overtime, sending Canada White into the semifinals at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 3-2 win over Canada Red on Thursday night.
White – the lone team waving the Maple Leaf to make the final four – will take on the United States in its semifinal on Thursday night in Medicine Hat (7 p.m. MT).
With the clock ticking towards a shootout, Guillaume Richard (Cap-Santé, Que./Tri-City, USHL) carried the puck into the Red zone and found Stillman streaking up the middle. His shot beat Red goaltender Thomas Milic (Coquitlam, B.C./Burnaby Winter Club, CSSHL) past the blocker.
Richard and Red defenceman Kyle Masters (Edmonton, Alta./Red Deer, WHL) were the only players to finish with multiple points, earning a pair of assists apiece.
The teams traded goals in quick succession in the first period; Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Alta./Edmonton, WHL) netted his third goal in the last two games, taking a short lead feed from Matthew Savoie (St. Albert, Alta./Rink Hockey Academy, CSSHL) and beating Milic, but Connor Lockhart (Kanata, Ont./Erie, OHL) knocked a rebound past White netminder Tyler Brennan (Winnipeg, Man./Prince George, WHL) just 12 seconds later to even things up.
That would be it for scoring for more than 41 minutes as the goaltenders went save-for save; Milic turned aside 23 of the 24 shots he faced through the first two periods, while Brennan stopped 13 of 14.
White finally surged ahead nine minutes into the third when Riley Kidney (Enfield, N.S./Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) had his centring pass hit a Red defender in front and elude Milic for a power-play goal.
That looked it would stand up as the winner before Wyatt Johnston (Toronto, Ont./Windsor, OHL) sprung Dovar Tinling (Pointe-Claire, Que./Hawkesbury, CCHL) down the left wing, and he went short-side on Brennan with just 2:50 to go to force overtime.
Canada White finished with a 34-27 edge in shots on goal.
The loss sends Canada Red to the fifth-place game; it will face Sweden on Saturday afternoon (3 p.m. CT) in Swift Current.
“It’s a little bit weird knowing you beat Canada yet you are super excited. It’s just a little bit different when it happens for the first time, but obviously it was a big win. We mentioned before [the game] that we had a 1-2 record, and that didn’t really matter for us. The only games that mattered were the quarter-finals, semifinals and gold medal game. Now we have ourselves in the semifinal and we just have to win two more to accomplish our goal.”
— Cole Sillinger (Regina, Sask./Medicine Hat, WHL), Team Canada White forward, on defeating Canada Red in the quarter-final
“It’s always tough to lose like that [in overtime]. I mean, it’s a great learning experience and that’s not the last time anyone on the ice is going to be in that situation, it doesn’t matter who you are on the team. It is disappointing but definitely something we can use in our careers moving forward.”
— Nolan Allan (Davidson, Sask./Prince Albert, WHL), Team Canada Red defenceman, on the disappointment of losing in the quarter-final
“I think we played with fire all week as a group. We were able to come back in three previous games, and win two in overtime and one in a shootout. Unfortunately sometimes when you play from behind, it’s going to catch up to you. Tonight we ran in to a pretty good Russian team and it didn’t go our way.”
— Jody Hull (Petrolia, Ont./Niagara, OHL), Team Canada Black head coach, shares his thoughts on the game and the tournament as a whole
Next games – Friday, Nov. 8:
- Semifinal #1: Czech Republic vs. Russia – Innovation Credit Union iPlex (6 p.m. CT)
- Semifinal #2: Team Canada White vs. United States – Canalta Centre (7 p.m. MT)