canadian_hockey

Canada blanks U.S. to win under-18 gold

Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada

8/12/2006 3:55:52 PM

BRECLAV, Czech Republic (CP) - Canada maintained its under-18 hockey dominance with a proven formula of strong defence, timely scoring and loads of hard work.

''It feels unbelievable, 22 men putting in an unbelievable effort,'' forward Tyler Ennis said after scoring to help Canada beat the United States 3-0 to claim the gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament Saturday. ''They didn't have a sniff and we just played awesome and it feels unreal.

''Good things happen when you stick to the system.''

Brett Sonne scored twice and Trevor Cann made 20 saves as Canada won gold for the 10th time in 11 years at the summer tournament for the world's best under-18 players.

The only setback in that span was in 2003, when the Americans beat Russia for gold and Canada finished out of the medals.


 

''It was unreal being able to wear the jersey and actually come through for your country,'' said Sonne. ''It was an awesome experience, I'm proud of it.''

Coach Cory Clouston of the Kootenay Ice did his best to take the pressure off his players by preaching the need to focus solely on the task at hand. The team held meetings before each game and talked only about what was immediately in front of them, nothing more.

''We didn't want to look too far ahead and we didn't want to think about things like Canada has won so many of these tournaments,'' said Clouston. ''That might have become a little bit overwhelming to the guys, we just wanted them to stick to their jobs and the guys did a great job of that.''

Sonne, the Calgary Hitmen sniper who had a goal in each of Canada's four games at the event, opened the scoring at 10:49 of the first period and made it 2-0 at 2:12 of the second.

The first goal was particularly important for the Canadians, who got off to a nervous start by playing anxious, individual hockey. Once they took the lead, they started to play their grinding game.

''It was a big monkey off the back, just being able to relax and play our defensive game to finish it,'' said Sonne. ''We shut them down pretty well. Every player should be proud of themselves.''

Ennis, of the Medicine Hat Tigers, capped the scoring with his goal at 10:38 of the third.

Jeremy Smith stopped 27 shots for the Americans.

Russia beat Sweden 4-2 in the bronze-medal game at Piestany, Slovakia.

Cann, of the Peterborough Petes, got the call in goal over Justin Leclerc of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and was solid, even though he was rarely tested.

''When he needed to be he was very good,'' said Clouston. ''He made a couple real big saves for us in the second period and that gave us momentum going into the third.''

Canada controlled the play throughout, outshooting the Americans 12-9 in the first, 10-5 in the second and 8-6 in the third.

Canada finished its round robin in Piestany with a 3-0 record, including a 5-3 win in the opener over Switzerland and 4-1 victories over Sweden and Slovakia.

The Americans, coached by former NHL forward and coach Ed Olczyk, won their pool with wins of 3-2 over Finland, 4-2 over Russia and 4-3 in overtime over the Czechs.  

The tournament was formerly called the Junior World Cup, but the name was changed in honour of Hlinka, the former star player and later national coach for the Czech Republic who was killed in a 2004 car crash.

Another event, the IIHF world under-18 championships, is played in April but does not have top players involved in junior or university playoffs in North America.






YOUR CALL

NO. AUTHOR MESSAGE
1jack44way to go canada ...
2canadianbacon11ahhh, another Canada-USA match up, with Canada the ...
3kevin917Way to go boys. Best on best, we are the best! t ...
4Feuer_FreiAnd what's the point of this tournament? There is ...
5capebretonbarbarianWas there any doubt?? Cudos to the CAHA for develo ...
6stingfan99Once more, Canada, Hockey, and Gold are synonymous ...
7kosta8Well done Canada. We are showing the world that ho ...
8matt25once agian we have proven that our young talent is ...
9Steve935Once again Canada is the best in the world. Way to ...
10thebatlabGood job U-18 team! Go Canada! ...
11GreenridersWas there ever any doubt? I can't wait to congrad ...
12fireguy2102002Way to go guys. On top of the world again!!!! Cong ...
13kevin917feur_fri, or whatever your name is. If you don't ...
14dippyCongrats! great effort ...
15wd35Canada Rocks.... #1 Again ...
16CaptainCanuck87Another international victory for Canada; you can ...
17ScoringfanWOW! Another Gold For Canada... Kudos to all those ...
18TatoespToo bad the Turin guys choked so badly. Would have ...
19usasteveFeuer_Frei - now that JV is no longer in F1 you ca ...
20flyfan58congratulations .... good job boys ...
21Taz24What's the point of this tournament, Feuer_Frei ?I ...
22avalanchefan33_33way to set the bar early! Nothing but gold from no ...
23MSteenCongratulations Canada Job well done ...
24rooney#1CONGRATULATIONS BOYS. After the olympics last year ...
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Men's World Championship

Hockey Canada

Sweden became the first country to win Olympic gold and the world title in the same year with a 4-0 win over the Czech Republic at the 2006 IIHF Men's World Hockey Championship in Riga, Latvia. Finland defeated Canada 5-0 to claim the bronze medal.

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World Juniors

Canada emerged victorious with its second straight gold medal at the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championship. The 2007 tournament will be played in Sweden this December.

Winter Olympics

The 2006 Men's Olympic team Canada finished off the podium, while the Canadian Women's team took home its second straight gold medal in Torino. The next Olympic stop is Vancouver in 2010.

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