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Sonne shorthanded goal lifts Canada's under-18 squad to 4-1 win over Sweden

PIESTANY, Slovakia (CP) - Brett Sonne's shorthanded goal has given Canada a shot at a gold medal.

Sonne's goal at 13:51 of the second period was the game-winner as the Canadian men's under-18 hockey team beat Sweden 4-1 Wednesday at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament.

The win, coupled with Switzerland's 2-1 victory over host Slovakia, clinched first place in round robin Pool B for Canada and a berth in gold medal game on Saturday against the top team in Pool A. Switzerland can tie Canada in points, but Canada would still go through because it beat the Swiss 5-3 on Tuesday.

Canada closes round robin play Thursday against Slovakia.

In Breclav, Czech Republic, the U.S. improved to 2-0 in Pool A with a 4-2 win over Russia. The Americans can clinch with a win Thursday over the Czechs, who beat Finland 4-1. The Russians and Czechs are 1-1 while Finland is 0-2.

The Canadians found themselves in deep penalty trouble after defenceman John Negrin was handed a major penalty and a game misconduct for checking from behind at 12:26, giving Sweden a two-man advantage.

Canada had killed off the first penalty when defenceman Drew Doughty of the Guelph Storm chipped the puck up to Sonne. The Calgary Hitmen forward beat a defender one-on-one, made a deke and scored his second goal of the tournament.

"It was a good individual effort," said coach Cory Clouston of the Kootenay Ice.

Clouston said Negrin's major should not have been called.

"He fell totally on his own," he said. "In fact, Johnnie didn't even hit him.

He ended up hitting the boards because the guy fell down.

"It's one of those calls that's very frustrating, but we kept our composure on the bench and we did a good job killing two five-on-threes and a major."

Goaltender Trevor Cann of the Peterborough Petes made 20 saves and was named Canada's player of the game. Canada fired 19 shots at the Swedish net.

"Our team played solid defence," said Cann. "Even on the five-on-threes, we played well.

"We definitely improved from the game before. so the shots were a lot lower than they could have been."

Clouston had yet to decide whether Cann or Justin Leclerc of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, who started against Switzerland, would be in goal against winless Slovakia.

Kyle Turris of the BCHL's Burnaby Express and Swedish forward Oscar Moller traded first-period goals.

Captain Angelo Esposito of the Quebec Remparts assisted on goals by Nick Ross of the Regina Pats and Gillies in the third period.

"The feelings are good," added Cann. "We're 2-0 and we want to win this third game. With the little time we have between games, we want to get better and go over things to make sure our team is that much more ready for the next game."

Clouston said his team showed vast improvement from the tournament opener against the Swiss.

"We took care of our own end a lot better," he said. "We were a lot more responsible."

Canada has won the tournament, sometimes called the junior World Cup, nine of the last 10 years. The event is heavily attended by NHL scouts as most of the players will be available in the 2007 draft.

In other games, Gregory Sciaroni scored at 6:12 of the third period to lead Switzerland over Slovakia. The Swiss outshot the host side 30-11.

Slovakia's Martin Baca and Switzerland's Reto Suri traded second-period goals.

Jeremy Smith made 36 saves as the U.S. beat Russia. Jimmy Hayes had his third goal of the tournament, while Nico Sacchetti, Patrick White and Brett Bruneteau also scored for coach Ed Olczyk's side.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Canada's Under-18s perfect in Piestany

Canadian Press
8/10/2006 4:50:29 PM

PIESTANY, Slovakia (CP) - Bryan Cameron is peaking at the right time.

The Belleville Bulls forward scored twice as Canada's under-18 hockey team cruised to a 4-1 win over Slovakia on Thursday in their final round-robin game at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament.

Coach Cory Clouston said Cameron's defensive play as improved, resulting in more scoring chances.

''He's paying more attention to detail as far as the defensive game goes,'' said Clouston, who coaches the WHL's Kootenay Ice. ''He's a lot better in his own zone, he's keeping things a lot simpler and he's having better results.''

Defenceman Thomas Hickey, a Calgary native who plays for Seattle, was named player of the game.

Canada went into Thursday's game having clinched first place in Pool B in the tournament and securing a berth in Saturday's gold medal game against the U.S. The Americans earned their spot in the championship game with a 4-3 overtime win over the Czech Republic.

In other games Thursday, it was Sweden 5, Switzerland 3 and Russia 3, Finland 2.

Cameron said the Canadians took Slovakia very seriously.

''This was just as important as any other game,'' said the five-foot-nine, 180-pound Brampton, Ont., native. ''It really brought our team more together and we're playing even more like a team. If anything, it made us even more prepared for the gold medal game.''

Brent Sonne and Logan MacMillan also scored for the Canadians, while Lukas Vartovnik scored the lone goal for Slovakia.

Canada outshot Slovakia 39-13, and Clouston said the scored flattered Slovakia.

''I thought right from the drop of the puck the guys were very good and very hungry,'' he said. ''Once we got the lead, Slovakia didn't have a lot of jump to push back.''

Cameron said the Canadians are anxious for Saturday's final.

''From what I can see right now we're there already,'' he said. ''Right now we are the best team out here.

''If we play like we have the last couple of games, there is no doubt in my mind we will take home the gold.''

Canada has won the tournament, sometimes called the junior World Cup, nine of the last 10 years. The event is heavily attended by NHL scouts as most of the players will be available in the 2007 draft.
 

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Canada faces U.S. in battle for gold

Canadian Press - POSTED ON 12/08/06

Breclav, Czech Republic -- Defenceman John Negrin calls it the biggest game of his young life in hockey.

The Vancouver native and his teammates on Canada's under-18 squad will be looking to extend a remarkable string of gold medals when they take on the United States today in the final of the Ivan Hlinka memorial tournament.

Canada has won gold nine of the past 10 years at the summer tournament for the world's best under-18 players. The only setback in that span was in 2003, when the Americans beat Russia for the gold medal and Canada finished out of the medals.

"For sure, this is probably my biggest game," Negrin, of the Kootenay Ice, said yesterday. "Playing for Team Canada in a final -- you couldn't ask for more than that -- and playing against the U.S., our biggest rival."

Canada finished the round robin in Piestany, Slovakia, with a 3-0 record, including a 5-3 win in the opener over Switzerland and 4-1 victories over Sweden and Slovakia.

The team practised yesterday in Piestany before a bus ride of 2½ hours across the border to Breclav, where the Americans won their pool with wins of 3-2 over Finland, 4-2 over Russia and 4-3 in overtime over the Czechs.

The offensive stars for Canada so far have been Bryan Cameron of the Belleville Bulls with four goals, Brett Sonne of the Calgary Hitmen with three goals and an assist and captain Angelo Esposito of the Quebec Remparts with two goals and two assists.

Defenceman Drew Doughty of the Guelph Storm has three assists.

Trevor Cann of the Peterborough Petes and Justin Leclerc of the Lethbridge Hurricanes have split the goaltending work almost evenly. It is uncertain who will start the final.

The Americans, coached by former NHL forward and coach Ed Olczyk, have had sharp goaltending from Jeremy Smith.

The game for the bronze medal will be between Slovakia and Finland.
 

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Sonne leads Canada to U18 gold

Sportsnet.ca
August 12, 2006

BRECLAV, Czech Republic (CP) -- Canada maintained its under-18 hockey dominance with a proven formula of strong defence, timely scoring and loads of hard work.

"It feels unbelievable, 22 men putting in an unbelievable effort," forward Tyler Ennis said after scoring to help Canada beat the United States 3-0 to claim the gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament Saturday. "They didn't have a sniff and we just played awesome and it feels unreal.

"Good things happen when you stick to the system."

Brett Sonne scored twice and Trevor Cann made 20 saves as Canada won gold for the 10th time in 11 years at the summer tournament for the world's best under-18 players.

The only setback in that span was in 2003, when the Americans beat Russia for gold and Canada finished out of the medals.

"It was unreal being able to wear the jersey and actually come through for your country," said Sonne. "It was an awesome experience, I'm proud of it."

Coach Cory Clouston of the Kootenay Ice did his best to take the pressure off his players by preaching the need to focus solely on the task at hand. The team held meetings before each game and talked only about what was immediately in front of them, nothing more.

"We didn't want to look too far ahead and we didn't want to think about things like Canada has won so many of these tournaments," said Clouston. "That might have become a little bit overwhelming to the guys, we just wanted them to stick to their jobs and the guys did a great job of that."

Sonne, the Calgary Hitmen sniper who had a goal in each of Canada's four games at the event, opened the scoring at 10:49 of the first period and made it 2-0 at 2:12 of the second.

The first goal was particularly important for the Canadians, who got off to a nervous start by playing anxious, individual hockey. Once they took the lead, they started to play their grinding game.

"It was a big monkey off the back, just being able to relax and play our defensive game to finish it," said Sonne. "We shut them down pretty well. Every player should be proud of themselves."

Ennis, of the Medicine Hat Tigers, capped the scoring with his goal at 10:38 of the third.

Jeremy Smith stopped 27 shots for the Americans.

Russia beat Sweden 4-2 in the bronze-medal game at Piestany, Slovakia.

Cann, of the Peterborough Petes, got the call in goal over Justin Leclerc of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and was solid, even though he was rarely tested.

"When he needed to be he was very good," said Clouston. "He made a couple real big saves for us in the second period and that gave us momentum going into the third."

Canada controlled the play throughout, outshooting the Americans 12-9 in the first, 10-5 in the second and 8-6 in the third.

Canada finished its round robin in Piestany with a 3-0 record, including a 5-3 win in the opener over Switzerland and 4-1 victories over Sweden and Slovakia.

The Americans, coached by former NHL forward and coach Ed Olczyk, won their pool with wins of 3-2 over Finland, 4-2 over Russia and 4-3 in overtime over the Czechs.< .

The tournament was formerly called the Junior World Cup, but the name was changed in honour of Hlinka, the former star player and later national coach for the Czech Republic who was killed in a 2004 car crash.

Another event, the IIHF world under-18 championships, is played in April but does not have top players involved in junior or university playoffs in North America.
 

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Congrats to Canada!:D I wish the games were televised even if it ended up being a taped version on at 12am. UNLESS they were televised and I missed them?
 

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Amanda said:
Congrats to Canada!:D I wish the games were televised even if it ended up being a taped version on at 12am. UNLESS they were televised and I missed them?
YES!!!! CONGRATS CANADA!!!! :D

No it wasn't televised, I am so P%*^#D about that too!!!! :cheeky4:

I don't know WHY it wasn't????
 

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It wasn't on TV, so I never saw a thing. That's a shame, I remember they showed it last year.
 

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BE-LEAF-ABLE said:
It wasn't on TV, so I never saw a thing. That's a shame, I remember they showed it last year.
How did THAT happen?....an International Hockey tournament that has Team Canada playing in it and not a game televised back home here for the rest of us to see???
 
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