Newhook’s shootout marker wins game for Canada West

Newhook’s shootout marker wins game for Canada West

Steven Ellis10 Dec 2018Steven Ellis»
 

Sunday's contest between Canada West and the United States was proof that the World Junior A Challenge doesn't need much scoring to generate an incredible game, with Canada taking the 2-1 victory thanks to a deciding shootout goal by NHL draft star Alex Newhook.

 
 
 
 

Sunday's contest between Canada West and the United States was proof that the World Junior A Challenge doesn't need much scoring to generate an incredible game, with Canada taking the 2-1 victory thanks to a deciding shootout goal by NHL draft star Alex Newhook.

The opening game for both teams had a very quick pace, with the two nations trading scoring chances and keeping things about even. But after 40 minutes of play, neither team found a way to score, with each team getting one good chance each late in the period. 

Canada's best opportunity came with six minutes to go when Victoria Grizzlies scoring duo Alex Newhook and Alex Campbell connected for an attempt, with Campbell beating out two defencemen and goaltender Isiah Saville before just missing the net. At the other end, defenceman Zac Jones made a nifty little deke around a Canadian defender, but his shot wasn't enough to get past Matthew Davis with four minutes left in the period.

But a pair of goals in the third amped up the pace even further. At 5:23, Grant Silianoff found Griffin Ness streaking into the slot while shorthanded. Ness would send a quick shot past Matthew Davis, putting USA on the board first to break the ice.

Two minutes later, Canada scored one of their own. A beautiful pass by T.J. Lloyd made it to Ethan Leyh near the American blueline, leaving him one-on-one with a defender. Leyh would pull off a quick toe drag deke before sending a wrist shot past Saville, tying the game up at one apiece.

Davis was the story of the third period, making big save after big save. The Americans did a terrific job of crashing the net and creating chance after chance as Canada struggled to find their footing in their own zone. Davis would finish with 41 saves for arguably the best performance of the day.

Canada thought they got the job done with a minute left in the game as Harrison Blaisdell ripped a shot over Saville. But the puck just hit the crossbar and came out, with the refs instantly waving it off as the fans exploded with excitement, thinking the puck was in the net. The no-goal would result in some extra time, with Newhook getting the shootout-deciding goal to give Canada West their first win of the victory.

Canada West will immediately turn their attention to a huge game against Canada East at 7:00 PM MT, one of the most anticipated games of the tournament. USA will get to wait until Tuesday for their next game when they take on the Czech Republic in the lone game in Bonnyville.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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