CANADA FALLS TO RUSSIA, GETS SILVER AT HLINKA GRETZKY CUP
JASON LA ROSE
BRECLAV, Czech Republic – Quinton Byfield (Newmarket, Ont./Sudbury, OHL) and Jean-Luc Foudy (Scarborough, Ont./Windsor, OHL) scored goals, but Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team was left with silver at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup after a narrow 3-2 loss to Russia on Saturday.
It’s the third silver medal for Canada in summer U18 play, and the first since 1995. Its all-time medal count now includes 22 gold medals, three silver and one bronze – 26 medals in 29 years.
The Canadians dominated puck possession in the final, holding a one-sided 37-13 advantage in shots on goal, but were turned away time and time again by Russian goaltender Yaroslav Askarov, who was terrific in a 35-save performance.
Russia netted the lone goal of the first period when Alexnader Pashin jumped off the bench and into the play and beat Canadian netminder Dylan Garand (Victoria, B.C./Kamloops, WHL) to the far side less than four minutes in.
Byfield answered for Canada early in the second period, banging in a Connor McClennon (Wainwright, Alta./Winnipeg, WHL) rebound on the power play, but Vasili Ponomaryov tucked a wraparound past Garand five minutes later to restore the Russian advantage.
After Pashin struck for his second of the game to extend the Russian lead to two midway through the third period, Foudy chipped a backhand off a Russian stick and over the glove of Askarov to pull Canada back within one with 4:59 left, setting up a wild finish.
Garand went to the bench with two minutes to go and Canada swarmed the net, but Askarov made a pair of highlight-reel stops – including a last-second left-pad save on Byfield – to seal the Canadians’ fate.
Cole Perfetti (Whitby, Ont./Saginaw, OHL) finished as tournament scoring leader with 12 points, the highest total by a Canadian in a summer U18 event since Brett McLean recorded 13 at the 1995 Pacific Cup.