CANADA RED INTO WIN COLUMN, HOLDS ON TO EDGE SWEDEN
JASON LA ROSE
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Serron Noel (Nepean, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) and Riley Stotts (Winnipeg, Man./Swift Current, WHL) each scored once and added an assist to pace the offence, and Canada Red earned its first three points at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, knocking off Sweden 4-3 on Monday night.
The win – the third for Red over the Swedes in four tries all-time – leaves the Canadians third in Group B with one preliminary-round game to go, a potential first-place showdown with Russia on Tuesday (4 p.m. ET).
Ty Dellandrea (Port Perry, Ont./Flint, OHL) and Billy Moskal (Sudbury, Ont./London, OHL) joined Noel and Stotts on the scoresheet for the Canadians, who struck twice on the power (although they also allowed two power-play goals and a shorthanded marker).
It was the Swedes who jumped into an early lead when Adam Bokvist beat Canadian goaltender Carl Stankowski (Calgary, Alta./Seattle, WHL) through traffic for a man-advantage goal just 5:39 in.
But Noel answered less than seven minutes later, racing down the right wing and letting go a shot that handcuffed Swedish netminder Lucas Jägbring, and Dellandrea buried a rebound at 17:54 to send Red to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead.
Stotts wasted no time making it a two-goal game, setting up between the hashmarks to knock the rebound of a Riley Damiani (Mississauga, Ont./Kitchener, OHL) shot past Jägbring just 76 seconds into the second period.
The Canadians more than doubled up Sweden in shots on goal in the middle frame, 14-6, but the Swedes got one back just before the end of the period, with Carl Jakobsson redirecting a pretty feed from Oskar Bäck behind Stankowski at 18:09.
Sweden pressured on an early third-period power play, but Moskal netted the game-winner just shy of the nine-minute mark of the final stanza, finishing a two-on-one with Damiani by beating Jägbring up and over his short-side shoulder.
Lukas Wernblom made it interesting with a shorthanded goal at 11:19, stripping a defender at the blue-line before racing in to beat Stankowski, and a late Canadian penalty meant a six-on-four advantage in the dying minutes, but the Swedes couldn’t find the tying goal.
Sweden will finish its preliminary-round schedule Tuesday night with an all-Scandinavian match-up against Finland at the John Rhodes Community Centre (6 p.m. ET).