WHITE BLANKS CZECHS IN PRELIM FINALE
JASON LA ROSE
MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Alta./Edmonton, WHL) scored goals shorthanded and on the power play, and Tyler Brennan (Winnipeg, Man./Prince George, WHL) stopped all 23 shots he faced to help Canada White to a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic to wrap up Group A action Tuesday at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The result finalizes the quarter-finals for Thursday and both teams are off to Swift Current to begin the playoff round; White will take on Canada Red (7 p.m. CT), while the Czechs face Sweden (3 p.m. CT).
Cole Sillinger (Regina, Sask./Medicine Hat, WHL) had the other goal for the Canadians, his tournament-leading fifth in three games.
Guenther got the scoring started with a spectacular individual effort; picking up an errant pass in the Canadian zone, he blew past two Czechs and chipped a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Tomas Suchanek less than eight minutes in.
He struck again in the second period, this time hammering a one-timer off a Matthew Savoie (St. Albert, Alta./Rink Hockey Academy, CSSHL) pass for a man-advantage marker.
That was more than enough offence for Brennan, who was busiest in the third period, when the Czechs recorded 11 of their 23 shots.
Sillinger added a little more insurance early in the third period, digging a loose puck out of a scramble in front of the Czech crease and slipping the puck into an open net.
The three goals scored in the game were the last of 53 scored at the Canalta Centre during the preliminary round, an average of just under nine per game.
It’s the most combined goals in group play since the start of the eight-team format; the old mark of 46 was set by the United States (20), Canada Red (13), Sweden (12) and Slovakia (1) at the 2014 tournament in Sarnia-Lambton, Ont.