PATRICK SCORES SHOOTOUT WINNER, CANADA TO PLAY FOR HLINKA GOLD
JASON LA ROSE
BRECLAV, Czech Republic – Nolan Patrick (Winnipeg, Man./Brandon, WHL) had the lone goal in the shootout, sending Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to the gold medal game at the 2015 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup with a 2-1 semifinal win over Russia on Friday.
It’s the eighth consecutive year Canada has reached the final; it has won gold in each of the last seven.
Canada will face Sweden in Saturday’s final (11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT). The teams met Tuesday in preliminary round play, with Canada earning a 2-0 victory.
Stepping up as the first shooter, Patrick rifled a wrist shot over the glove of Vladislav Sukhachev, who was spectacular in getting his team to extra time.
Dylan Wells (St. Catharines, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) matched Sukhachev save for save through regulation and overtime and went one better in the shootout, stopping Igor Shvyrev, Nikita Makeev and Gergii Ivanov.
It was the Russians who opened the scoring against the flow of play in the final minute of the first period; a bouncing puck in the slot ended up on the stick of German Rubtsov, who knocked it past Wells for a 1-0 lead.
Canada didn’t waste much time pulling even, tying the game just 5:44 into the second when Tyler Benson (Edmonton, Alta./Vancouver, WHL) found Jordan Kyrou (Toronto, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) for a tap-in at the side of the Russian goal.
The goaltenders stole the show after that, turning away shot after shot from two very good offences through the next 39 minutes to set up an exciting shootout finish.
Wells got his right pad on attempts by Shvyrev and Makeev, and poke-checked the puck from Ivanov to clinch the Canadian win. Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./Penticton, BCHL) and Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna, WHL) both missed on their attempts for Canada.