DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The United States captured the gold medal after jumping out to a big lead early and hung on to defeat Canada Red at the Encana Event Centre on Saturday night 6-4.
The Americans dominated the first period as Cole Caufield opened the scoring at 7:43 of the first period after working a two on one rush with Jack Hughes to perfection. Nearly seven minutes later Hughes found the back of the net to make it 2-0. Matthew Boldy had the lone assist. Owen Lindmark capitalized on a Canadian turnover for the 3-0 goal. Alex Turcotte and Matthew Boldy were the setup tandem. Cole Caufield scored his second of the game 21 seconds before the first intermission buzzer. Domenick Fensore and Jack Hughes set up the Caufield tally. The American’s skated into locker rooms with a 4-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Caufield scored his hat trick goal 1:19 into the second stanza. Matthew Boldy and Jack Hughes worked the puck around to the slot where Caufield made no mistake for the 5-0 goal. The Canadian’s got on the board at 9:02 of the second period as Nick Wong fired a wrister past the American goaltender after taking a feed from Evan Brand. Nearly three minutes later Bowen Byram ripped a shot from the high slot to the top corner to make it 5-2. Peyton Krebs and Dylan Cozens got the assists on the powerplay marker. At 15:16 Alexis Lafreniere wired a shot past the American netminder to make the score 5-3 after taking a pass from Ryan Suzuki and Bowen Byram. The Canadian’s found themselves down by two going into the third period.
Canada Red took it to the visitor’s in the third but could not find the back of the net after a couple of powerplays. Alex Vlasic collected a Canadian pass attempt in his own zone and150-foot 150 foot shot into the empty cage to put the States up 6-3 at 19:09. Ryan Suzuki got one back after a high shot hit found the top part of the net on a feed from Brandon Coe at 19:27 of the final period. That’s all the Canadian’s could muster as the American’s won the gold with a 6-4 final score.
Canada Red goaltender Luke Cavallin made 28 of 33 saves, while Cameron Rowe stopped 21 of 25 pucks fired at him.
United States captain and points leader of the tournament with 15, Jack Hughes said, “This is a big win for us. The last time the States won was three or four years ago. We have been working so hard for this and it feels great to bring the gold back home.”
United States head coach John Wroblewski added, “We got contributions from everybody throughout the tournament. And what can you say about Jack and Cole they are two special players who have unbelievable skill sets. I’m so proud of our accomplishment after so much work and dedication went into it.”
Canada Red assistant coach Luke Pierce said, “We gave up too many goals in the first. Then in second, we scored one and then scored two and just started to gain confidence and all of a sudden found the back of the net. We needed to feed off the energy of the crowd in the first period as we came out flat-footed.”
Canada Red captain Peyton Krebs added, “Give credit to the American’s they were the best team in the tournament as they just proved. I am very proud of the guys in the locker room as we all learned and gained a ton of experience from such a great event.”