U-17 Championships Day 1 Recap
Spencer Martin made 19 saves for the shutout as Ontario opened defense of its World Under-17 Hockey Challenge gold medal with a 5-0 victory over Germany in front of more than 3,000 fans at the WFCU Centre on Thursday afternoon.
The result was a reversal of fortune from the last time Ontario defended a gold medal on home ice – in 2010, it suffered a shocking 5-3 loss to Finland in its opening game in Timmins, Ont., although it rebounded to reach the gold medal game.
Hometown favourite Adam Bateman and captain Bo Horvat led the offence for Ontario, recording a goal and an assist each, while Brandon Robinson, Nicholas Ritchie and Windsor native Trevor Murphy also found the back of the net.
Horvat's goal was spectacular, dragging the puck around the defenceman and burying a backhander.
"I just wanted to get away from the defenceman chasing me and get it on net," said Horvat postgame, "I didn't really expect it to go in, I just shot it on my backhand and it went in, so it was a good feeling."
Aaron Ekblad and Max Domi added two assists each in the victory.
Domi was a physical presence all night, getting rough with some Germany players," said Domi, "That's part of our game plan, bringing the physical presence. Whatever works and it was working today."
Germany got 27 saves from Kevin Reich, but could not beat Martin, who was busiest in the third period, making nine saves.
Ontario will look for a 2-0 start against Sweden on Friday night in Windsor (7 p.m. ET), while the Germans will try to even their record against Quebec in the evening game in Tecumseh (7 p.m. ET).
Team Pacific beat Team West 5-2 at Tecumseh Arena, getting two goals from Sam Reinhart and a solid game in net for Eric Comrie.When asked about the timely saves he made, Comrie was quick to downplay his role and said it was a team effort; "The biggest thing is to just keep focusing on the next puck, you can't give the other team momentum, you just have to stay out there and focus. Every save is important, you can't really judge one from another, our team did a great job of helping me today."
Reinhart, who said his line was not good in the exhibition, potted two goals and said, "It's good to get a few goals under my belt and we'll try and keep it going for the next few games."
The game was physical to the maximum, and both teams wanted blood. Reinhart and the Pacific team get up for big games like this.
"We certainly get pumped up for the games, it's really exciting wearing the maple leaf for the first time,| he said, "We have a lot of guys that like to play physical, so it definitely worked in our favour for sure."
Morgan Klimchuk, Macoy Erkamps, and Curtis Lazar also scored for Pacific (LAzar scored an empty netter and celebrated with a Tim Tebow impression). Nicholas Zajac and Remi Laurencelle replied for West.
Other scores from the tournament today include:
USA 5 Czech Republic 1
Quebec 3 Atlantic 2
Follow Kyle Busch on Twitter @KyleBusch11 and Brian Raiger @ragier89 for exclusive U-17 coverage.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Kyle Busch's one-on-one interview with TSN's Darren Dutchyshen and his thoughts on the tournament!