U.S. CONTINUES TO ROLL AT U17S, BEATS BLACK FOR PERFECT PRELIMINARY ROUND
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Brady Tkachuk netted a pair of goals, and added an assist, to lead the United States to a dominating 6-1 victory over Canada Black on Tuesday night in its final preliminary game at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge at the Encana Events Centre.
The U.S. was the only team in either group to earn three regulation-time wins, and it outscored its opponents 19-7; the Americans have scored at least six goals in 10 consecutive round-robin games, dating back to 2013.
Needing a win to lock up second place in the group Canada Black couldn’t generate anything offensively in the first period, getting outshot 17-3 by the U.S. in the opening 20 minutes.
It made two of those count; Tkachuk opened the scoring by banging in a loose puck at the side of the Black net just past the seven-minute mark, and Nate Knoepke found Reedy with a cross-ice feed for the 2-0 goal just under three minutes later.
The Americans took advantage of a five-on-three advantage midway through the second period, converting on both halves. Reedy fed Josh Norris for a backdoor tap-in at 11:20, and David Farrance beat Canadian netminder Jacob McGrath (Mississauga, Ont./St. Michael’s, OJHL) with a point shot at 12:42 for a 4-0 lead.
Canada Black finally got on the board 15 minutes into the middle frame when Michael Rasmussen (South Surrey, B.C./Tri-City, WHL) went cross-ice and found Alex-Olivier Voyer (Sherbrooke, Que./Rimouski, QMJHL), who beat U.S. goaltender Dylan St. Cyr.
Randy Hernandez restored the four-goal advantage before the end of the period, going up and over McGrath’s shoulder to make it a 5-1 game through two.
Tkachuk opened the scoring in the first and closed it in the third, taking a backhand pass from Reedy and burying it past McGrath to ensure the Americans reached the half-dozen-goal mark once again.
The U.S. finished with a sizeable 30-18 advantage in shots on goal.
Quarter-final Thursday will see the United States take on Sweden in Dawson Creek (2:30 p.m. MT), while Canada Black will travel to Fort St. John for an all-Canadian match-up with Canada Red (2:30 p.m. MT).