MCLEOD SCORED OT WINNER, CANADA EDGES FINNS AT JUNIOR CAMP
JASON LA ROSE
PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Michael McLeod (Mississauga, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) got the winner 2:39 into overtime, sending Canada to a wild 6-5 win over Finland on Wednesday afternoon as part of Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp.
With the teams playing three-on-three in the extra period, Samuel Girard (Roberval, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL) carried behind the Finnish net before finding McLeod, who outwaited Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen before roofing the winner.
The Canadians trailed 4-2 with less than five minutes to go before scoring three times in 2:29 to take the lead, only for Finland to tie the game inside the final 30 seconds.
The Finns opened the scoring early; Jerry Turkulainen took advantage of a turnover at the Canadian blue-line before knocking his own rebound past goaltender Stuart Skinner (Edmonton, Alta./Lethbridge, WHL) just 3:38 in.
Girard tied the game at 16:17, banking his shot off a pair of Finnish skates, and Taylor Raddysh (Caledon, Ont./Erie, OHL) gave Canada its first lead just 53 seconds later, snapping a quick shot to the far side on Luukkonen.
Finland struck early and often in the second period, netting a trio of goals before the seven-minute mark.
Otto Koivula made it 2-2 just 20 seconds after the puck dropped, scoring right off a won face-off, Robin Salo hammered a slap shot past Skinner to give the Finns back the lead at 4:29, and Jere Innala sped onto a loose puck in the neutral zone and beat Skinner over the glove for the 4-2 goal at 6:15.
The score would stay that way until the dying minutes of the third period when the Canadian offence awoke, led by Matthew Phillips (Calgary, Alta./Victoria, WHL).
Phillips got Canada within a goal on the power play at 15:53, getting his stick on a slap-pass from Josh Mahura (St. Albert, Alta./Regina, WHL), and Cliff Pu (Richmond Hill, Ont./London, OHL) redirected a Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam, B.C./Boston University, HE) shot past Luukkonen with 2:25 left to tie the game.
The Canadians grabbed the lead just 47 seconds after that when Phillips caught the Finnish goaltender going the wrong way and tucked in his second of the period, but Janne Kuokkanen beat Dylan Wells (St. Catharines, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) with a one-timer with 29 seconds to go, forcing the extra period and setting up the McLeod heroics.
The World Junior Summer Showcase continues Friday at USA Hockey Arena, with the Canadians taking on Sweden (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT) before closing out camp Saturday against the United States (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT).