TIPPETT NETS A HAT TRICK TO LEAD CANADA WHITE TO GOLD
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Owen Tippett (Peterborough, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) scored a hat trick to lead the offence as Canada White topped Russia 6-2 on Saturday night to win the gold medal at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
It’s the first time a Canadian team has won the top prize since Ontario in 2011, prior to the start of the three-team national team format that came into existence last year.
Gabe Vilardi (Kingston, Ont./Windsor, OHL) and Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Calgary, Alta./Spokane, WHL) had a goal and an assist apiece in the win, while Ian Scott (Calgary, Alta./Prince Albert, WHL) made 21 saves.
With a near-capacity crowd at the Encana Events Centre behind them, the Canadians jumped to an early lead; Tippett picked up a loose puck before beating Russian goaltender Maxim Zhukov just 1:26 in,
The Russians wasted no time answering back, scoring a pair of goals before the end of the period.
Andrei Svechnikov beat Scott through a screen to tie the game at 3:02, and Ivan Chekhovich knocked the rebound of a Danila Galeniuk shot past the White netminder at 6:38 to give the Russians their first lead.
It would be all Canada White in the second period, starting with Tippett’s second goal of the game just 33 seconds into the middle frame, taking a feed from Ian Mitchell (Calahoo, Alta./Spruce Grove, AJHL) and going five-hole on Zhukov.
Vilardi added the eventual game-winner at 2:56, burying an Anderson-Dolan rebound, and Anderson-Dolan beat Zhukov just seconds after a White power play ended at 17:06 to give the Canadians some breathing room after 40 minutes.
The Canadians outshot Russia 15-5 in the decisive second period, and 31-23 overall.
Tippett finished his hat trick on the power play 3:23 into the third period, ripping a one-timer off a set-up from Mitchell, and Matthew Struthers (Milton, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) capped the scoring shorthanded with 7:45 to go.
Following the game, Tippett and Canada White defenceman Evan Bouchard (Burlington, Ont./London, OHL) were named to the tournament all-star team, along with Canada Red forward Maxime Comtois (Ste-Martine, Que./Victoriaville, QMJHL).