Two Canadian teams have made the medal round of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Langley.
Canada Black will play Finland for bronze at noon Saturday, Nov. 12, and Canada Red will play the United States for gold at 5 p.m., both at the Langley Events Centre.
The seven-team, 10-day tournament was co-hosted by Langley Events Centre and Delta’s Sungod Centre.
Canada got there by downing Sweden 6-3 on Friday, with netminder Gabriel D’Aigle making 35 saves for the win.
Canada Red head coach Greg Walters said the team “played fast and were team-first as you could see in their play. We were a little nervous to start, but D’Aigle is one of the top goalies in the country and he proved it tonight, giving our guys a chance. I am really proud of our guys.”
Tij Iginla, who had a goal and two assists, also praised the goaltending by D’Aigle.
“[He] was our MVP tonight, even in moments when we were getting outplayed, he kept us in there; he was someone we could lean on.”
Canada Black earned a spot in the bronze medal round by downing Czechia 7-5, a game head coach Mark O’Leary described as “an emotional rollercoaster.”
“We have been getting better every day here and certainly deserve to play for a medal,” O’Leary said. “We have an outgoing group that have gotten to know one another really well. They are enjoying themselves and I am happy for them that they get a chance to play for a medal.”
Canada Black captain Sam Dickinson called it “a big win for us. We have played really well [without Macklin Celebrini and Malcolm Spence], they are two really good players that would have helped us a lot. We have got a good team and everyone stepped up into new roles, taken pride in those roles and played them very well. We are lucky to have the players and coaches that we have.”
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