CAMPBELL RIVER, BC ? Down two goals after 40 minutes, Quebec found their offensive stride in the third period ? in a big way.
Guillaume Asselin scored twice in the final period to complete his hat trick, leading Quebec to a seven-goal frame and a 10-6 win over Slovakia at the Strathcona Gardens on Tuesday afternoon. The Canadian side outshot Slovakia 27-11 in the third period, and 54-32 overall.
Asselin?s two goals in the third joined singles from Samuel Carrier, Martin Lefebvre, Michaël Bournival , Matthew Bissonnette and Maximilien Le Sieur, helping Quebec erase a 5-3 deficit and climb back to the .500 mark at 1-1. Bournival finished with a pair of goals, while Gabriel Desjardins also scored.
Slovakia, which dropped its tournament opener, got two goals from Denis Mihalik and one apiece from Lukas Cingel, Michal Cajkovsky and Michal Murcek in taking a two-goal lead into the second intermission before imploding. Dominik Simcak rounded out the scoring with a late goal.
Quebec will face the powerhouse United States squad in Port Alberni on Wednesday night (7 p.m. PST), while the Slovakians will travel to Duncan to take on undefeated West on Wednesday (2 p.m. PST).
PACIFIC 4 - GERMANY 1
PORT ALBERNI, BC ? It wasn?t quite as exciting as its heart-stopping last-second win over Russia one night earlier, but Pacific is 2-0 at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Ryan Harrison and Kevin Sundher scored goals in the first 4:03 as the tournament?s ?home team? recorded a 4-1 win over Germany on Tuesday night at the Alberni Valley Multiplex, moving ever closer to a Saturday semifinal berth.
Mark Pysyk and Nathan MacMaster also scored for Pacific, while Tom Kühnhackl ? on an early second period penalty shot ? had Germany?s only goal. The Germans, who have played in the ninth-place game in the last five U17 tournaments, lost their tournament opener.
Pacific won despite being outshot 33-32, including 26-21 in the first two periods. Kent Simpson made 32 saves in picking up his second win in as many nights between the pipes for the Canadian side.Pacific will enjoy an off day on Wednesday before facing Atlantic in an all-Canadian match-up on Thursday night at the Alberni Valley Multiplex (7 p.m. PST), while Germany will face Atlantic in Duncan on Wednesday night (7 p.m. PST)
FINLAND 3 - WEST 6
PORT ALBERNI, BC ? Two games, two wins for West at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Captain Jordan De Pape scored three times ? all on the power play ? and added an assist as West moved to 2-0 in Group B with a 6-3 win over Finland on Tuesday at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.
With the Finns holding a 2-1 lead early in the second period, De Pape set up Nolan Zajac for the game-tying goal before completing his hat trick with a pair of markers 53 seconds apart, sending Finland to its second loss in as many games.
Quinton Howden and Mark Stone scored the other goals for West, while Teemu Rautianen, Teemu Pulkkinen and Mika Partanen replied for the Finns.
West will play its third game in as many days when it travels to Duncan to face Slovakia on Wednesday afternoon (2 p.m. PST), while the Finns will see action next on Thursday, taking on Quebec at the Comox Valley Sports Centre in Courtenay.
ATLANTIC 2 - RUSSIA 8
CAMPBELL RIVER, BC ? It was a game to remember for Vladislav Namestnikov, and capped off a day to remember for Campbell River hockey fans.
Namestnikov scored four goals to lead Russia to an 8-2 win over Atlantic at the Strathcona Gardens, pushing the Russians back to the .500 mark after Monday night?s heartbreaking last-second loss to Pacific.
Roman Berdnikov, Artur Amirov, Aleksander Gogolev and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for the Russians, who blew open a tight 4-2 game with a four-spot of goals in the final 20 minutes. Alex Noel and Sean Couturier scored the goals for Atlantic, who dropped to 0-2.
It was another standing-room-only crowd at Strathcona Gardens, who saw Quebec score seven times in the third period to steal a 10-6 win from Slovakia in the early game. Both games had close to 1,000 fans crammed in to watch the stars of tomorrow.
The Russians are back on the ice for the early game in Port Alberni on Sunday, taking on Ontario at the Alberni Valley Multiplex (2 p.m. PST). Atlantic will travel to Duncan to face-off with Germany (7 p.m. PST).
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)