The Team Manitoba Male Under-17 team has advanced to the finals for the first time ever at the Canada Winter Games with a 5-1 victory over Team Alberta. Manitoba received goals from five different players along with stellar goaltending from Winkler’s Mark Friesen to guarantee them their first medal since capturing Bronze in 1991. A copy of the complete game summary can be found here.
Manitoba has the day off before they will meet Team Ontario in the final Friday evening in Whitehorse. Ontario needed overtime to dispose of Team BC 4-3 in the other semi-final on Wednesday.
Deloraine’s Cory More opened the scoring midway through the first as he netted his third goal of the Games to give Manitoba an early 1-0 advantage. That lead was short lived however as Alberta’s Joseph Colborne beat Friesen a mere three minutes later to even the score at one.
The teams looked as though they would remain deadlocked heading into the intermission before Winnipeg’s David Toews banged the puck past Alberta netminder Jacob DeSerres with one second left on the clock.
Manitoba would carry that momentum into the middle frame as defenseman Colby Robak of Gilbert Plains upped his team’s lead to a pair of goals halfway through the second.
Arborg’s Travis Bobbee scored an insurance marker six minutes into the final period and Neepawa’s Braeden Adamyk put the icing on the cake with 14 seconds left to secure Manitoba their highest finish ever at the Games.
Friesen was outstanding in turning aside 30 of the 31 shots he faced but the defense must also be given credit for allowing him to see the shots and clearing away any rebounds. Manitoba outshot 43-31 over the course of the game.
The championship game can be seen live on TSN Friday evening beginning at 9:30 PM. The two teams will be meeting for the second time this tournament, the first resulting in a 5-2 Ontario round robin victory. It should be noted however that the game was meaningless from a standings viewpoint as both teams quarterfinal matchups were already determined at that point.