Team Canada Wins Sixth Straight Gold At Ivan Hlinka

The boys are golden and the streak is staying alive.

(hlinkamemorial.com)
(hlinkamemorial.com)

Team Canada powered through the Russians in the semi final yesterday and then shutout the Americans today to capture their sixth straight gold medal at the U18 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic. Chicoutimi Sagueneens netminder Julio Billia picked up his second shutout of the tournament with the 4-0 win.

Oshawa Generals forward Michael Dal Colle’s first goal was all the Canadians needed to put away the Americans. Brandon Wheat Kings’ Jayce Hawryluk and Barrie Colts forwards Aaron Ekblad and Brendan Lemieux added the extra cushion for the red and white. Billia managed just 21 saves.

The story of the tournament is powerhouse forward Spencer Watson of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. He lead the tournament with an astonishing 10 points (four goals, six assists) with three helpers coming from today’s final. Watson and his Kingston teammate Sam Bennett each scored once in Canada’s 3-1 semi final victory over Russia.

Canada is proving that their up and coming junior stars are strong and willing to play. There’s no shortage of talent across the board in every league and every position. This includes goaltending where Hockey Canada is extremely concerned. The list of next year’s NHL draftees are going to be long and no shortage of depth and will have NHL general managers making some very tough decisions.

In the bronze medal game, the Czech Republic edged Russia with a 3-2 win.

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Spencer Watson’s shootout goal leads to semi final berth for Team Canada

Kingston Frontenacs forward Spencer Watson has been an unstoppable force for Team Canada at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic. Today’s game finished in dramatic fashion as both teams kept fans on the edge of their seat.

(hlinkamemorial.com)
(hlinkamemorial.com)

Watson’s latest expenditure came at the hands of Team Switzerland where the Swiss forced Canada into a shootout. The Swiss rallied in the second and third period to tie the game up at three. Watson prevailed and notched the shootout winner to seal the deal and has had at least one point in each round robin game. Team Canada sits  on top of the group A standings and will head to the semi finals.

Canada’s other goals came from Watson’s Kingston teammate Sam Bennett, Barrie Colts scoring machine and Team Canada leader Aaron Ekblad and Moose Jaw Warriors forward Brayden Point. Watson also picked up an assist on Point’s goal. Chicoutimi Sagueneens goaltender Julio Billia picked up his second win of the tournament.

This pivotal win gives Team Canada a playoff berth where they will face the Russians on Friday. Canada is going for its sixth gold medal in a row at this tournament.

In group B action, Team USA won their final game of round robin competition to finish on top of the standings. Three members of the Portland Winterhawks picked up points in their 5-2 victory over Slovakia. The United States will now face the host nation of Czech Republic in other semi final match up on Friday.

Canada drops to Sweden; Sweden’s Eriksson Breaks Leg

(Photo credit: hlinkamemorial.com)
(Photo credit: hlinkamemorial.com)

Team Canada suffered their first loss at the hands of Team Sweden at the U18 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament today. However, Sweden suffered it’s own loss as starting goaltender Jesper Eriksson left the game.

Jared McCann of the Soo Greyhounds put Canada on the board first but it was Sweden who retaliated with three straight in the first period. Two of those goals came from Swedish sharpshooter Kevin Elgestal.

The Swedes carried their 3-1 lead into the third period but Sam Bennett had other ideas as he pulled Canada within one with goal coming at 3:54. However it was short lived as Micheal Nylander Altelius put Sweden on top by two once again. Spencer Watson notched a powerplay goal for the red and white near the end of the third but it proved to be not enough as Sweden hung on to a 4-3 victory.

(Photo: hlinkamemorial.com)
(Photo: hlinkamemorial.com)

Not all went well for Team Sweden though as starting netminder Jesper Eriksson left the game in the third period after colliding with a Canadian player who had been tripped. Eriksson is rumored to have broken his leg and will be out for the remainder of the tournament and possibly his upcoming season. A penalty was called against Sweden on the play.

Team Canada’s record falls to 1-1-0 as they powered over the Czech Republic with a 4-0 victory on Monday. Their next game comes in the form of Team Switzerland who actually formulated a win against Sweden in their second game of action. That game is set to take place on Wednesday at Alcapast Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic.