U.S. SCORES EARLY AND OFTEN, CRUISES PAST WHITE INTO U17 FINAL
JASON LA ROSE
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Matthew Boldy paced a balanced offence by scoring twice and adding an assist, and the United States got goals from eight different players in a 9-1 semifinal win over Canada White on Friday night, moving into the gold medal game at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Americans will play in their 12th U17 final on Saturday night, taking on Canada Red (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, TSN) at the Encana Events Centre.
In total, 16 of the 20 U.S. skaters recorded at least a point, with Boldy and Jack Hughes (three assists) leading the way.
The scoring started early, with Owen Lindmark beating White goaltender Taylor Gauthier (Calgary, Alta./Prince George, WHL) through the legs with a quick shot from the slot just 2:14 in.
Boldy got a piece of a Cam York shot for the first of four power-play goals on the night 41 seconds after that, and Trevor Zegras tipped in a shot from Case McCarthy at 6:57 for a quick 3-0 lead.
Cole Caufield went short-side on Gauthier at 11:48 and that was it for the Canadian netminder; he was replaced by Jonathan Lemieux (Beloeil, Que./Val-d’Or, QMJHL) after allowing four goals on 10 shots.
Outshot 15-4 in the first period, White showed a little more jump in the second, holding a narrow 12-11 advantage in the middle frame, although its deficit grew by one.
John Beecher slipped a shot five-hole on Lemieux at 3:24, and Judd Caulfield tucked in the sixth goal three minutes later, giving the Americans six different goal scorers.
Joe Carroll (Almonte, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) finally got one back for White late in the second, picking the corner over the glove of U.S. puck-stopper Spencer Knight, but that would be it for offence from the Canadians.
Boldy converted the American touchdown on the power play less than two minutes into the third period, before Sean Farrell and Drew Helleson added man-advantage goals to finish the offensive onslaught.
The result equals the most lopsided semifinal in tournament history; the U.S. beat Quebec 9-1 at the January 2014 tournament, Pacific topped Ontario by the same score at the 2005 event, and Ontario blanked West 8-0 in 1997.
Canada White will play for bronze on Saturday afternoon, taking on the Czech Republic (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT).