NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. – Nicolas Roy (Amos, Que./Chicoutimi, LHJMQ) showed why he was selected first overall in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft on Thursday afternoon, collecting a goal and two assists to lead Quebec over West 4-1 at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Brandon Gignac (Repentigny, Que./Shawinigan, LHJMQ), David Henley (Val-d’Or, Que./Val-d’Or, LHJMQ) and Samuel Blier (Plessisville, Que./Trois-Rivières, LHMAAAQ) also scored for Quebec, which will wait for the result of Thursday night’s Sweden-Pacific game to find out if it will play in the semifinals.
Cameron Hebig (Saskatoon, Sask./Saskatoon, WHL) had the lone goal for West, which will play in Friday’s ninth-place game (2 p.m. AT) against Germany in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.
Quebec took an early lead just 1:29 in, when Maxime Fortier (Lachine, QUE./Lac St-Louis, LHMAAAQ) fed Gignac to open the scoring.
Hebig equalized for West at 11:46, but Henley put Quebec up for good six minutes later, stepping out the penalty box, taking a heads-up pass from Roy and beating West goaltender Logan Flodell (Regina, Sask./Regina, SMAAAHL) over the glove.
West’s defence struggled with the speed of the Quebec forwards, but it was patience with the puck that set up Quebec’s third goal; captain Jérémy Roy (Richelieu, Que./Sherbrooke, LHJMQ) took his time coming out of the defensive zone, and the found its way from Fortier to Nicolas Roy for a 3-1 advantage.
Quebec capped the scoring midway through the second period. Anthony Beauvillier (Sorel, Que./Shawinigan, LHJMQ) won a battle in the corner and fed Pascal Aquin (Repentigny, Que./Collège Esther-Blondin, LHMAAAQ), who snuck behind Flodell’s net and found Blier, who ripped a one-timer past the West netminder.
Flodell finished with 26 saves while his Quebec counterpart, Olivier Tremblay (Saguenay, Que./Jonquière, LHMAAAQ) stopped 23 of 24 to record the win.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)