CANADA OUTLASTS U.S. IN WILD ONE TO FINISH SHOWCASE
JASON LA ROSE
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Ty Dellandrea (Port Perry, Ont./Flint, OHL) and Jack Studnicka (Tecumseh, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) had a goal and an assist apiece, and Canada opened up a four-goal lead in the second period before hanging on for a 6-5 win over the United States in the finale for both teams Saturday at the Sport Chek World Junior Showcase.
After dropping a pair of split-squad games to the U.S. on Tuesday, the Canadians finished the summer camp with three consecutive wins, beating Finland 4-3 in overtime on Thursday and Sweden 4-1 on Friday.
It was the Americans who struck early, with Joel Farabee hammering a one-timer past Canadian goaltender Matthew Welsh (Halifax, N.S./Charlottetown, QMJHL) at the 3:58 mark.
Dellandrea got that back less than four minutes later, finding a rebound at the side of the net, and Nick Suzuki (London, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) wired in a power-play goal only 57 seconds after that to send Canada to the intermission up 2-1.
The early stages of the second period were all red-and-white.
Michael Rasmussen (South Surrey, B.C./Tri-City, WHL) doubled the lead 32 seconds into the middle frame, redirecting in a Jared McIsaac (Truro, N.S./Halifax, QMJHL) shot, and MacKenzie Entwistle (Georgetown, Ont./Hamilton, OHL) got a couple of fortuitous bounces on a dump-in to make it 4-1 at 3:01.
Studnicka finished the flurry at 7:22, streaking down the right wing and going off the post and in past Keith Petruzzelli, chasing the American netminder with a third goal in a span of six minutes and 50 seconds.
The U.S. started its comeback with a Jay O’Brien goal at 9:15, and Noah Cates punched in a loose puck off a scramble in front to make it a two-goal game after 40 minutes.
O’Brien potted his second at 2:36 of the third period off a Quinn Hughes rebound to pull the Americans within one, but Calen Addison (Brandon, Man./Lethbridge, WHL) answered 85 seconds later, rifling the eventual game-winning goal over a sprawling Cayden Primeau to make it 6-4.
Paul Cotter got one back with Primeau on the bench and less than three minutes to go, but Matthew Villalta (Godfrey, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) and the Canadian defence clamped down in the dying minutes to clinch the win.
Villalta finished with 23 saves in 31 minutes of work in relief of Welsh, who made 11 saves.
The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship begins Dec. 26 in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.