10:30 p.m., April 12)
pace Canada to 2-0 start at U18 Championships
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.
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.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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