Calgary, Alta. – Nine WHL players and two coaches with WHL ties are returning from the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup with a silver medal as members of Team Canada, after Russia took the gold medal game, 3-2 on Saturday in Breclav, Czech Republic.
Tips head coach Dennis Williams, entering his third season behind the Everett bench and coming off back-to-back 47-win campaigns and a pair of division titles, was a part of the Team Canada.
Connor McClennon (Wainwright, Alta. / Winnipeg ICE) earned the primary assist on Canada’s first goal of the game, tying up the score early in the second. Russia would score once in each period to claim the gold.
WHL players returning home with silver include goaltender Dylan Garand (Victoria, B.C. / Kamloops Blazers), defencemen Kaiden Guhle (Sherwood Park, Alta. / Prince Albert Raiders) and Daemon Hunt (Brandon, Man. / Moose Jaw Warriors), and forwards Ridly Greig (Lethbridge, Alta. / Brandon Wheat Kings), Seth Jarvis (Winnipeg, Man. / Portland Winterhawks), McClennon, Jake Neighbours (Airdrie, Alta. / Edmonton Oil Kings), Justin Sourdif (Surrey, B.C. / Vancouver Giants), and Ozzy Wiesblatt (Calgary, Alta. / Prince Albert Raiders).
Seven WHL staff members contributed to Canada’s performance, including Alan Millar (Tottenham, Ont. / Moose Jaw Warriors) who served in the team’s management group, head coach Michael Dyck (Lethbridge, Alta. / Vancouver Giants), assistant coach Dennis Williams (Stratford, Ont. / Everett Silvertips), Guest Director of Hockey Operations Gord Pritchard (Yorkton, Sask. / Regina Pats), video coach Andrew Doty (Calgary, Alta. / Lethbridge Hurricanes), goaltending consultant Adam Brown (Kelowna, B.C. / Kelowna Rockets), and equipment manager Gord Cochran (Williams Lake, B.C. / Regina Pats).
Canada’s run at the tournament saw them capture top spot in Group A during preliminary action, skating to a record of 3-0-0-0, before defeating Sweden in semifinal play. Greig and Jarvis led offensive performances by WHL skaters with three points (2G-1A) each in the tournament.
The 2020 edition of the tournament will come back to Canadian soil as Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta. host the tournament.