Canada rallies in third period to down Germans in World Under-18 action



The Canadian National Under-18 Men’s hockey team improved to 2-0-0-0 on Saturday after rallying for three goals in a span of 5:01 in the third period to down Team Germany by a score of 5-2.

Ryan Gropp of the Seattle Thunderbirds netted what would be the game-winning goal and Chicoutimi Saguenéens goaltender Julio Billia stopped 21 of 23 shots he faced as Canada retakes the top spot in Group A with six points.

In the first period, Daniel Audette of the Sherbrooke Phoenix would open the scoring for the Canadians just 6:37 into the opening frame. The goal would give the Canadians a 1-0 lead, which they would take into the intermission. Canada would out-shoot the Germans 14-7 in the first period.

Germany would tie things up at the 13:09 mark of the second period as Andreas Eder would beat Billia with assists going to Mazimilian Daubner and Jakob Mayenschein. Canada would answer back just 80 seconds later to retake the lead as Conner Bleackley beat German goaltender Daniel Fiessinger to make it 2-1 for the Canadians. Cape Breton’s Clark Bishop would pick up the lone assist on the Red Deer Rebels forward’s first goal of the tournament. Germany would tie things up once again with 2:11 remaining in the second as Maximilian Kammerer beat Billia with Kai Wissmann being credited with an assist. With 40 minutes in the books, Canada and Germany would go into the intermission tied 2-2. Germany out-shot the Canadians 11-8 in the period.

German goaltender Fiessinger weathered a storm during the first 14 minutes of the third period, stopping fifteen shots before Gropp finally beat the 17-year-old to give the Canadians a 3-2 lead with 5:36 to play. The lone assist on Gropp’s first of the tournament went to Jake Virtanen. Canada would add an insurance goal at the 16:18 mark of the third when Travis Konecny of the Ottawa 67’s scored his first of the tournament with assists going to Brayden Point and Brendan Perlini. With time winding down, Jared McCann of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds would give the Canadians a three goal lead with just 35 seconds remaining. Virtanen would pick up his second assist of the game and fourth point of the tournament.

With the final buzzer sounding, Canada would take the game 5-2, out-shooting the Germans 20-5 in the third period. Canada would improve to 2-0-0-0, giving them six points and top spot in Group A after two games while Germany falls to 0-0-0-2 with no points, and are now in danger of facing relegation.

Billia got the start for the Canadians and stopped 21 of 23 shots for the win while Fiessinger stopped 37 of 42 shots in the loss.

Neither team made much of the two power play opportunities they were afforded throughout the game. Canada is now one-for-nine on the power play in the tournament while Germany is one-for-seven.

Canada can secure a spot in the playoff round tomorrow when they take on Slovakia at 10 a.m. ADT. As for Germany, they’re back in action Monday when they take on Russia.