MONTREAL – In a thriller for the ages on national television, Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart traded saves in a solid showing with Tyler Parsons down the stretch of regulation and in overtime, followed by USA edging Canada, 5-4 in a shootout over in the gold medal game of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships at Bell Centre.
Tips captain Noah Juulsen (two shots), earning key minutes late in the game, produced one last scoring chance with a wrister from the right circle that nearly snuck through in the final minutes of overtime. Hart (31 saves) made four saves in the five-round shootout, while Parsons closed the game on a pad save against Canada’s Nicolas Roy. Both goalies stopped nine of 10 shooters after combining for 77 saves during five-on-five play. Canada finished with a 50-36 advantage in shots, include 17-7 in overtime.
Both players will take a silver medal home to the Pacific Northwest as part of the Silvertips, the only WHL team to have two players represented on Team Canada.
Hart’s record was 3-0-0 in World Junior play before the gold medal game and earned Player of the Game honors in the semifinals vs. Sweden, stopping all 26 shots he saw.
Tournament MVP Thomas Chabot (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) scored once and added an assist. After a thrilling 80 minutes of regulation and overtime failed to produce a victor, Troy Terry netted the game-winning goal for the Americans in the fourth round of the shootout.
Chabot broke the ice at 4:58, tapping in a feed from Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL), and Jeremy Lauzon (Val-d’Or, Que./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) wired in a wrist shot just over four minutes later for a two-goal advantage for Canada that carried into the first intermission..
USA got one back 3:04 into the second period (Charlie McAvoy), and a point shot went in off Kieffer Bellows on an American power play to tie the game midway through the middle frame.
A wild third period started with Nicolas Roy (Amos, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) going short-side on Parsons and restoring the lead with the Canadians on the power play at 1:52, and Joseph raced away to make it a 4-2 game at 4:05, scoring his first goal of the tournament. But Bellows got his second of the game 39 seconds after that, and Colin White parked himself at the side of the Canadian net and redirected a feed from Adam Fox at 7:07 to tie the game again.
An end-to-end 20-minute overtime couldn’t decide it, despite the best efforts of both teams, sending the gold medal game to a shootout for just the second time in World Junior Championship history.
Dylan Strome (Mississauga, Ont./Erie, OHL), Barzal, Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./University of North Dakota, NCHC) and Anthony Cirelli (Woodbridge, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) were denied by Parsons on the first four Canadian attempts before Roy had the puck roll off his stick on the final chance, giving the U.S. its fourth gold.
The 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship begins Dec. 26, 2017 in Buffalo, N.Y., and will feature the first outdoor game in tournament history when the Canadians and Americans meet at New Era Field on Dec. 29.
The Silvertips return to play Friday to start back-to-back road games in Kent, visiting the Seattle Thunderbirds at 7:35 p.m.
Full game story in contribution with Hockey Canada.