ÖRNSKÖLDSVIK, Sweden – Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team closed out the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship with a 5-2 loss to the United States in the bronze medal game Sunday at the Fjällräven Center.
Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Y.T./Lethbridge, WHL) scored his fourth goal of the tournament in the final minute of the first period to pull the Canadians even at the time, and Nathan Légaré (Montreal/Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) added his fourth late in the third.
Nolan Maier (Yorkton, Sask./Saskatoon, WHL) kept Canada in the game; he made 16 saves in the first period alone, and finished with 36 overall.
Full game stats and story are available HERE on the Hockey Canada website.
“Over the last month it was been a great pleasure putting this team together and watching them grow as a group,” said head coach Brett Gibson (Gananoque, Ont./Queen’s University, OUA). “The last 24 hours is a great example how quickly things happen in a short tournament. We competed hard five-on-five, but special teams were the difference in the Americans’ favour.”
“We just didn’t play well enough tonight,” said Thomas Harley (Jamesville, N.Y./Mississauga, OHL). “The U.S. is a great team, they executed their game plan. We didn’t do a good enough defending and we just didn’t play as well enough as we needed to. At the end of the day the tournament is over and we have to learn from it.”
Canada went unbeaten in the preliminary round, finishing atop the Group A standings with a 4-0 record following wins over Belarus (11-1), Czech Republic (6-2), Finland (5-3) and Switzerland (7-4). Canada added a 3-1 quarter-final win over Latvia, before falling 4-3 to Sweden in the semifinals.
“The guys put in a great effort and I can’t say enough good things about them,” said Canadian captain Peyton Krebs (Okotoks, Alta./Winnipeg, WHL). “We’re a good character group and I’m proud of the guys. It’s been a month of building relationships and having fun, but in the end we did our best and that’s all we can do.”
Canada has won seven medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship, including three gold (2003, 2008, 2013), one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).
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