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'(Posted 10:30 p.m., April 12)
Gudbranson helps pace Canada to 2-0 start at U18 Championships
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Team Canada is off to a 2-0 start at the IIHF U18 World Championships in Fargo, North Dakota and Chapel Hill South resident Erik Gudbranson has been contributing both offensively and defensively for the cause patrolling Canada's blueline.

The 17-year-old Gloucester Ranger product had a pair of assists in an 11-1 win over Germany in the opening game of tournament on Thursday and then assisted on Team Canada's second goal in an 8-1 win over Switzerland on Saturday.

Canada is currently tied atop the Pool A standings with Sweden which has wins over the Czech Republic and Germany. Canada plays the Czech Republic on Monday and then Sweden on Tuesday in a likely showdown for first place in the pool.

The team is made up mostly of players whose junior clubs either didn't make the playoffs, like Gudbranson whose Kingston Frontenacs finished in last place in the Eastern Conference of the OHL, or were knocked out in the first round.

There are 12 players from the OHL, eight from the Western Hockey League, one from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and one, defenceman Dylan Olsen, from the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Canada is the defending champions having won the gold medal last year in Russia. Many of the players are using the U18 World Championships to try and earn a ticket to the World Junior develop.m.ent camp this summer.

The core of the team will also form the nucleus of the Canadian contingent that will heading over to the Czech Republic in August to play in the prestigious Ivan Hlinka U18 Tournament which is regarded as the "unofficial" World Championship because it involves the very best 17- and 18-year-old players in the world who are currently playing in CHA playoffs.

'(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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