Canada White takes OT thriller over Canada Black

Steven Ellis04 Nov 2018Steven Ellis»
 

A thrilling Sunday afternoon battle between Canada White and Canada Black served as a great way to end the second day of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge at the Harbour Station in Saint John's, New Brunswick, with Canada White getting a dominant performance from Cole Perfetti in a 5-4 overtime victory.

 
 
 
 

A thrilling Sunday afternoon battle between Canada White and Canada Black served as a great way to end the second day of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge at the Harbour Station in Saint John's, New Brunswick, with Canada White getting a dominant performance from Cole Perfetti in a 5-4 overtime victory. 

While it was only the fourth game of the tournament, the battle between the two Canadian teams was one of the best games of the U17s, with both teams trading leads and producing some incredible scoring chances. Despite a strong start for Canada Black early, Canada White would leave the first period with a 2-1 lead. It all started at 8:22 when Cole Perfetti's first shot was stopped, only to have Saint John Sea Dogs defensive star Jérémie Poirier pick up the rebound after sneaking into the play. At 16:10, with the game tied at one apiece, Perfetti would get one of his own, using his shot that made him so exciting to watch in minor midget last season to quickly snap one past Joe Vrbetic, giving the team the lead back. 

But three goals by Canada Black would give them the lead before the game hit the halfway point. First, Daemon Hunt used patience on the penalty kill to wait until Quinton Byfield was in an optimal position for a deflection. At the last second, he chipped the puck towards the net and Byfield redirected it past Tristan Lennox, putting Canada Black on the board at 10:44.

Then, a pair of goals a minute apart in the second put them up by one. Will Cuylle was rewarded for an incredible effort in the offensive zone, battling along the boards to keep the play alive. He eventually got the puck out to Jean-Luc Foudy, who wasted no time getting the disk back to Cuylle. Cuylle put the puck in the net from in close, tying the game at two at 1:12 in the second.

At 2:58, another goal by a Sea Dogs players made the hometown fans at the Harbour Station excited. Josh Lawrence would do the deed this time, tipping the puck into the empty cage after some quick passes between him, Ryan O'Rourke and James Hardie.

Sea Dogs fans in attendance were confused who to cheer for, and Poirier made it even tough. The defender would get his second goal of the game after Tristan Lennox made a tremendous pad stop for Canada White before shoving puck down the ice. Perfetti would connect with Poirier just to the right of Canada Black's net, tying the game for the second time on Sunday.

A few minutes into the third, Spencer Smith put Canada Black back in front. Smith would score off of a feed from Reid Valade, who was having a nice, yet quiet two-way game for his team.

But Canada White wasn't willing to let this one slip away. Théo Rochette, who has represented Switzerland on multiple occasions but never at an IIHF tournament, would make it 4-4 after Connor McClennon fed him on the rush, hitting the post before the puck just trickled over the line to tie the game for the third time on Sunday.

Neither team could decide a winner during regulation, so the tournament would see overtime for the first time this weekend. It was fitting that Perfetti was involved in the play, forcing a turnover before getting the puck to McClennon in the neutral zone. McClennon sent the puck low blocker on Vrbetic, finishing the game with a 5-4 victory for Canada White.

Both teams will be put back into the war tomorrow as Canada Black will meet the Czech Republic at 3:30 PM local time. Canada White will meet up with the United States later that day, with both teams switching opponents for Tuesday.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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