The boys are golden and the streak is staying alive.
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.