PORT ALBERNI, BC ? Charles Inglis scored twice ? once shorthanded and once on the power play ? as West opened the 2009 World Under-17 Challenge with a 4-2 win over Quebec on Monday afternoon at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.
Inglis scored midway through the second period to give West a lead it would never relinquish, and set up Brooks Macek for an insurance marker five minutes later as West became the first team to find the win column at this year?s tournament.
Dominick Favreau scored the first goal for West, while Yasin Cissé and Yoan Pinette had the Quebec goals. Favreau and Cissé scored their goals just seven seconds apart in the opening period.
Calvin Pickard, whose older brother Chet is a member of Canada?s National Junior Team, turned aside 31 shots to pick up the victory, while Louis Boileau-Domingue took the loss after making 26 saves.
Both teams will see the ice again on Tuesday ? West will be in action at the Multiplex, facing Finland in the early game (2 p.m. PST), while Quebec will travel to Campbell River to face Slovakia (2 p.m. PST).
USA 12 – FINLAND 1
NANAIMO, BC ? Two games, two impressive offensive showings for the United States.
One night after hammering Pacific 11-0 in a pre-tournament game, the Americans opened the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with an emphatic 12-1 pasting of Finland at Frank Crane Arena.
Jacob Fallon, Nick Shore and Brandon Saad scored two goals apiece for the Americans, who have appeared in the last two U17 gold medal games and appear to be living up to their billing as one of the pre-tournament favourites.
Matthew Nieto, Justin Faulk, Adam Clendining, Jason Zucker, Michael Mersch and Bryan Rust scored the other goals for the U.S., while Marcus Nikander had the lone goal for the Finns. Fifteen of the United States? 20 skaters recorded at least one point in the win.The Americans will have Tuesday off before taking to the ice at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in Port Alberni to face Quebec on Wednesday (7 p.m. PST), while Finland will take on West in Tuesday?s early game in Port Alberni (2 p.m. PST)
ONTARIO 8 – ATLANTIC 1
NANAIMO, BC ? Three goals in the first period, three more in the second and two in the third added up to a terrific start for Ontario in defense of its 2008 gold medal.
Ryan Spooner and Freddie Hamilton scored two goals apiece as Ontario opened its 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with an 8-1 win over Atlantic in an all-Canadian match-up at Frank Crane Arena on Monday night.
John McFarland, Gregg Sutch, Jeff Skinner and Tyler Seguin also found the back of the net for the defending champions, while Stephen Silas, Tyler Toffoli, Devante Smith-Pelly and Cody McNaughton added a pair of assists each.
Brent Andrews had the only goal for Atlantic, who was outshot only 26-23 in the opening 40 minutes before the Ontarians took control in the third period.
Ontario will enjoy an off day on Tuesday before returning to action on Wednesday afternoon at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in Port Alberni against Russia (2 p.m. PST), while Atlantic will travel to Campbell River to face the Russians on Tuesday (7 p.m. PST).
PACIFIC 6 – RUSSIA 5
PORT ALBERNI, BC ? In a game with a number of thrilling moments, Brett Connolly saved the best for last.
Connolly scored with just 16.6 seconds remaining, capping off a wild final five minutes and giving Pacific a 6-5 win over Russia at the Alberni Valley Multiplex in the opening game for both at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
After coming back four times from one-goal deficits, Brendan Gallagher gave Pacific its first lead at 5-4 with 4:59 to go, scoring just 36 seconds after Max Reinhart had tied the game for the Canadian side, only to see the Russians tie it up 37 seconds after that, setting up Connolly?s late heroics.
Brendan Ranford, Brad Ross and Troy Rutkowski also scored for Pacific, while two goals from Ivan Telegin and singles from Evgeny Kuznetsov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Artem Gareev provided the offence for Russia.
Pacific will be back on the ice at the Multiplex on Tuesday night taking on Germany (7 p.m. PST), while Russia will play in the late game at Strathcona Gardens in Campbell River, facing Atlantic (7 p.m. PST).
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)