McDonald dominates in goal as Canada wins bronze at the World Under-18 Championship

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bryanwillett

Mason McDonald put on a dominant performance in net for Canada, stopping 38 shots as Canada claimed bronze with a 3-1 victory over Sweden at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship on Sunday.

After falling behind early, Canada would claw their way back and find the game winner off the stick of Lawson Crouse, erasing the memory of Saturday’s shocking overtime loss.

Sweden would open the scoring at the mid-way point of the first period while shorthanded. Henrik Tornqvist took advantage of a John Quenneville turnover to rip the puck past McDonald to make it a 1-0 game. The unassisted marker came with 9:53 remaining and was Tornqvist’s third of the tournament. With 2:58 remaining in the first, Brendan Perlini would pounce on a rebound to score his third of the tournament and tie the game up for the Canadians. Jake Virtanen was credited with an assist on the play, sending the teams into the first intermission tied 1-1. Shots on goal in the first were 18-9 in favor of the Swedes.

The second period saw little scoring, but it came in the form of a Canadian goal. With 8:03 remaining, Crouse took a drop pass and wristed it past Soderstrom for his first goal of the tournament. Travis Konecny and Joseph Hicketts picked up the assists as Canada would head into the dressing room up 2-1 after 40 minutes. Shots in the second period were 9-7 in favor of the Swedish side.

Canada would increase their lead late in the third period after Konecny stepped around an oncoming check before blasting home his fourth goal of the tournament. The marker came with just 4:38 remaining and saw Travis Samheim and Hicketts pick up the assists. Despite pulling their goaltender with 2:39 left in the third, Sweden were unable to get anything past McDonald before the final horn sounded, securing the bronze medal for Canada. Shots on goal in the third were 12-10 in favor of Sweden.

McDonald stopped 38 of 39 shots to pick up the victory for the Canadians while Linus Soderstrom stopped 23 of 26 shots in the loss.

Canada would go one-for-five on the power play while Sweden were unsuccessful in four man-advantages. However, Sweden did manage a shorthanded goal.

Following the game, Canada’s top three players of the tournament were named. Defencemen Travis Sanheim and Haydn Fleury along with goaltender Mason McDonald were given the honours.

Canada’s Bronze marks the third straight year the Canadians have finished on the podium at the tournament, and is just the sixth medal they have earned at the tournament since they began participating.

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