Ontario Loses to USA, Will Play For 5th Place
No team has won more gold at the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge than Team Ontario but for the second year in a row they will play in the fifth place game thanks to a 6-2 loss to the team that was heavily favored with them to win the tournament, the United States.
Lost in the score is the outstanding performance by Ontario goaltender Ben Blacker (Milton - OJHL). Blacker stopped 48 of 54 shots in the game. But before Ontario's meltdown in the third period, Blacker stopped 19 of 20 in the first and 20 of 21 in the second and kept the score at 2-1 for the USA.
Dylan Strome (Erie Otters) got Ontario on the board first at 13:54 of the opening period with Mitchell Marner (London Knights) and Garrett McFadden (Guelph Storm) drawing the assists. With 3:26 remaining in the period, the Americans would even the score when Colin White scored a beauty while shorthanded. White's unassisted marker was his sixth of the tournament in his fourth game. The U.S would outshoot Ontario 20-11.
The Americans would take a 2-1 lead with 1:18 remaining in the second period when Luke Kirwan scored his 5th of the tournament, with the only assist going to to White. The U.S. outshot Ontario 21 to 8 for a two period total of 41-19.
It took Ontario 1:33 into the third to tie it when Brett McKenzie (North Bay Battalion) scored his second of the tournament. The assists went to Mathew Spencer (Peterborough Petes) and Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw Spirit).
The Americans took the lead for good as Luke Kunin set up Matthew Tkachuk for a second shorthanded goal that took the steam out of Ontario. It was Tkachuk's second of the tournament. The U.S. took a 2 goal lead 2:05 later as Auston Matthews scored his third of the tournament unassisted.
The U.S. put the nail in the coffin at the 17:18 mark of the period as White notched his second of the game and seventh of the tournament from Kirwan and Jeremy Bracco. Jack Roslovic would close out the scoring with a powerplay goal with one minute remaining, his first goal of the tournament. The assists went to Jordan Greenway and Christian Fischer.
The final shots were 54-24 for the Americans. The U.S. went 1 for 5 on the powerplay while Ontario went 0 for 4 while giving up two shorthanded goals.