January 3, 2009
(Courtesy of Hockey Canada)
PORT ALBERNI, BC – Could there be a repeat champion at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge? Ontario is one win away from defending its 2008 gold medal after a 7-4 semifinal win over West on Saturday afternoon.
Tyler Toffoli and Erik Gudbranson each scored twice and added an assist to pace the offensive attack as Ontario won its 14th consecutive game at the U17 tournament. John McFarland added two goals, giving him a tournament-leading 11 points in five games. Christian Thomas also scored for the Ontarians, while Tyler Seguin had four assists.
Leading 3-2 after 20 minutes, the defending champs rattled off three unanswered goals in the middle frame to take a 6-2 advantage to the dressing room after two periods. A pair of third-period goals from West made it close, but Gudbranson’s power play marker with six minutes to go sealed the deal.
Michael St. Croix scored two goals to lead the way for West, who will play for bronze for the second year in a row – it took home third from London, ON last year. Brooks Macek and Quinton Howden also found the back of the net in a losing cause.
Team West will face Team USA tomorrow at 12:00 PST in Port Alberni for the Bronze Medal game.
World U-17 Links: