DESNOYERS SCORES IN OT, SENDS RED INTO U17 SEMIFINALS
JASON LA ROSE
QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – Elliot Desnoyers (Saint-Hyacinthe, Que./Moncton, QMJHL) banged in the game-winning goal 4:34 into overtime, giving Canada Red a semifinal spot at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 2-1 extra-time win over the United States.
Cole Shepard (West Vancouver, B.C./Penticton, BCHL) raced down the right wing and circled the U.S. net before throwing the puck to the top of the crease, where Desnoyers swept it under American goaltender Drew Commesso for the winner.
The Canadians will face Finland in the second semifinal Friday at Harbour Station in Saint John (7 p.m. AT).
The win marked the second in a week for Red over the U.S.; the Canadians posted a 5-2 victory in pre-tournament play in St. Stephen, N.B., last Thursday night.
It was the Americans who came out with jump, holding Red to just four shots on goal in the first period and taking a lead to the intermission when Dylan Peterson finished a quick feed in front from Ty Smilanic at 7:19.
The Canadians bounced back in a big way by racking up 18 shots in the middle frame, although only one could beat Commesso; Matthew Maggio (Tecumseh, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) found a Kaiden Guhle (Sherwood Park, Alta./Prince Albert, WHL) rebound in front and converted a power-play goal to make it 1-1 after 40 minutes.
Commesso and Canadian counterpart Dylan Garand (Victoria, B.C./Kamloops, WHL) kept it tied through a scoreless third period. The netminders combined to stop 58 of 60 shots in regulation time.
The U.S. loss means no team has defended its U17 gold since Ontario went back-to-back in 2008 and 2009.
The Americans will play for seventh place Friday at the qplex against the Czech Republic (12 p.m. AT).