VICTORIAVILLE, Que. – For the first time ever, Sweden has won the gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, defeating Russia 7-5 in Friday night’s gold medal game at the Colisée in Victoriaville.
Earlier Friday, the United States won the bronze medal with a 4-3 win over Quebec. Austin Poganski scored a hat trick for the U.S., which won a medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge for the seventh consecutive tournament. Ryan MacInnis had the other goal for the Americans, while Nick Marois (Chicoutimi Sagueneens), Carl Neill (Sherbrooke Phoenix) and Francis Perron (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) scored for Quebec.
Following the gold medal game, the tournament all-star team was announced, as selected by Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada’s head scout of the men’s Program of Excellence.
2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge all-star team:
Goaltender: Julio Billia (Quebec)
Defence: Nikita Lyamkin (Russia)
Defence: Adam Ollas Mattsson (Sweden)
Forward: Oskar Lindblom (Sweden)
Forward: Connor McDavid (Ontario / Erie Otters)
Forward: Sonny Milano (United States)
The event brings together the top players in the world born in 1996 or later. The under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.
Nineteen of the 23 players who were selected for Canada’s National Junior Team and are currently playing in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, played at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and alumni of the tournament include past NHL first-overall picks Marc-André Fleury, Taylor Hall, Erik Johnson, Patrick Kane, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Alexander Ovechkin, John Tavares and Joe Thornton.