LAUZON’S OVERTIME WINNER LEADS CANADA BLACK TO SEVENTH PLACE
LAMBTON SHORES, Ont. – A goal from Félix Lauzon (Roxton Pond, Que./Victoriaville, QMJHL) just 97 seconds into overtime was the winner as Canada Black finished its 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 3-2 extra-time win over Slovakia in Friday afternoon’s seventh-place game.
Lauzon was left all alone in front, took a pass from Beck Malenstyn (Delta, B.C./Calgary, WHL) and beat Slovak netminder Jan Koziak to make sure Canada Black finished the tournament on a winning note.
The Canadians led 2-0 with less than half the third period to go before the Slovaks forced overtime with two late goals, equaling their offensive output from the previous four games combined.
Samuel Girard (Roberval, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL) and Nolan Volcan (Edmonton, Alta./Seattle, WHL) scored in regulation time for Canada Black, while Samuel Solensky and Viliam Cacho answered for Slovakia.
The Canadians didn’t waste any time opening the scoring, making good on their first shot; Tyler Benson (Edmonton, Alta./Vancouver, WHL) dug a puck out in the corner before feeding Girard, whose point shot found its way through the five-hole of Koziak.
That would remain the game’s lone goal through 40 minutes, despite a combined seven power plays in the first two periods – four for Slovakia, and three for Canada Black.
The Canadians finally doubled their lead four minutes into the third period; Pascal Laberge (Sainte-Martine, Que./Gatineau, QMJHL) fed Jake Bean (Calgary, Alta./Calgary, WHL) and he dropped for Volcan, whose shot snuck under Koziak’s arm for the 2-0 goal.
Solensky got the comeback started for Slovakia at 10:15 of the final frame, taking the puck off a Canadian defenceman before surprising Reilly Pickard (Halifax, N.S./Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) with a quick shot.
Less than 90 seconds later, it was Cacho’s turn to benefit from a Canadian turnover, as his wrist shot beat Pickard through the legs to tie the game, silencing the pro-Canadian crowd at The Shores Recreation Centre.
Both teams went goalless on the power play; Canada Black was 0-for-5, while Slovakia finished 0-for-2.
The Canadians had a one-sided advantage in shots on goal, 39-14.