OHL stars get a taste of World Juniors at Summer Showcase
32 OHL players took part in the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase this past week at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. The event showcased top talent from Canada, the United States, Finland and Sweden in an audition for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship set to take place in Buffalo, New York from December 26, 2017 to January 5, 2018.
Here’s a look at top OHL performances in Plymouth.
Saturday July 29
USA White 4, Finland 2
Max Gerlach (Medicine Hat Tigers) netted the winning goal on an assist from Minnesota Wild prospect Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters) 1:23 into the third period as Team USA White doubled up Finland 4-2 to open the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Janne Kuokkanen (London Knights) found the back of the net for Finland in the loss as his club outshot the Americans 30-22.
Sweden 4, USA Blue 3
London Knights CHL Import Draft selection Jesper Bratt scored twice while Niagara IceDogs selection Timothy Liljegren netted the game winner as Sweden scored a 4-3 comeback victory over Team USA Blue. Sweden scored three unanswered goals after falling behind 3-1. The Swedes outshot the Americans 34-23.
Sunday July 30
USA White 4, Sweden 3
Edmonton Oilers prospect Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) scored the game winner while Ivan Lodnia (Erie Otters) and Max Gerlach (Medicine Hat Tigers) also lit the lamp in Team USA White’s 4-3 win over Sweden. London Knights CHL Import Draft selection Adam Boqvist scored in the loss for Sweden as they outshot the Americans 30-24.
USA Blue 4, Finland 1
OHL talent played a big part in Team USA Blue’s 4-1 win over Finland as San Jose Sharks prospect Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s), Dallas Stars second round pick Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs) and New York Rangers draftee Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) all found the back of the net. Otto Makinen (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) tallied an assist for Finland as they dropped to 0-2 at the showcase.
Tuesday August 1
USA White 8, Canada Red 2
Ottawa Senators prospect Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires) scored twice and added an assist as Team USA White scored eight times on 31 shots en route to a lopsided 8-2 triumph over Team Canada Red. Max Gerlach (Medicine Hat Tigers) scored his third goal in as many games and Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) chipped in with two assists for the Americans while Canada Red goals came from Cliff Pu (London Knights) and Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors). USA White jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period and went 3-for-5 on the power play in the game, improving to 3-0 at the showcase.
Canada White 2, USA Blue 1
St. Louis Blues prospects Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting) and Robert Thomas (London Knights) scored goals to lead Team Canada White to a narrow 2-1 win over Team USA Blue. Goaltenders Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires) and Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips) combined to stop 30 of the 31 shots they faced as Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) provided the lone goal for the Americans.
Wednesday August 2
Canada 6, Finland 5
Down 4-2 late in the third period, three goals in under three minutes gave Canada a 5-4 lead before Carolina Hurricanes prospect Janne Kuokkanen (London Knights) forced overtime with a late marker for Finland. New Jersey Devils prospect Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads) scored the game winner 2:39 into overtime to give Canada a 6-5 victory. Calgary Flames prospect Matthew Phillips (Victoria Royals) scored two of Canada’s late third period markers while Buffalo Sabres draftee Cliff Pu (London Knights) also had a goal in the comeback. Anaheim Ducks prospect Josh Mahura (Regina Pats) chipped in with two assists while Nashville Predators pick Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes) and Tampa Bay Lightning second rounder Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters) scored in the first period. Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes) stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced in relief to record the win. The Finns outshot Canada 34-23 and held them to 0-for-6 on the power play, but fall to 0-3 at the showcase.
USA 3, Sweden 2
New York Islanders prospect Kieffer Bellows (Portland Winterhawks) helped set up the winning goal on a second period power play as the United States edged Sweden 3-2. Edmonton Oilers prospect Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) also found the back of the net while Ottawa Senators first round pick Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires) recorded an assist as Team USA won despite being outshot 38-22. Kitchener Rangers CHL Import Draft selection Lias Andersson scored both goals for the Swedes in defeat.
Friday August 4
Canada 7, Sweden 4
St. Louis Blues prospect Jordan Kyrou‘s (Sarnia Sting) second of the afternoon midway through the third period was the game winner as Canada staged a late comeback to defeat Sweden 7-4. Kyrou had two goals and an assist in the victory while Sam Steel (Regina Pats) had a goal and a helper. Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes), Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires) and Matthew Phillips (Victoria Royals) provided other Canada goals while netminder Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires) turned aside 26 shots. Sweden outshot Canada 30-26 in the game.
USA 4, Finland 3
Kitchener Rangers draftee Adam Fox scored twice to lead the United States to a 4-3 victory over Finland. U.S. goaltender and Portland Winterhawks draft pick Jake Oettinger turned aside 37 saves in the win as the Americans were outshot 40-21. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Janne Kuokkanen (London Knights) provided a goal for Finland in the loss while Calgary Flames first round pick Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans) chipped in with an assist.
Saturday August 5
Sweden 6, Finland 5 OT
Tim Soderlund scored 2:02 into overtime to give Sweden a 6-5 victory over their Scandinavian rivals from Finland. The see-saw affair saw the two sides swap goals, with the Swedes staying one step ahead of the Finns throughout the game. Oskar Steen netted a hat-trick for Sweden while Hamilton Bulldogs CHL Import Draft selection Joni Ikonen responded with three goals for Finland. Soderlund finished the game with a goal and two assists to help Sweden finish the showcase with a 2-2 record.
USA 7, Canada 5
Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel (Regina Pats) had a goal and two assists while Columbus Blue Jackets first round pick Pierre-Luc Dubois (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) had a goal and a helper, but those efforts wouldn’t be enough as Canada fell to the United States 7-5 to close out the World Junior Summer Showcase. Calgary Flames prospect Adam Fox had a goal and four assists from the blue line while New Jersey Devils prospect Joey Anderson had a hat-trick along with an assist in the U.S. triumph. Edmonton Oilers draftee Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) chipped in with a goal and an assist for the American cause as they outshot Canada 24-21 and went 4-for-4 on the power play. Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting), Givani Smith (Guelph Storm) and Jonah Gadjovich (Owen Sound Attack) provided other markers for Canada in the loss while Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters) notched two assists.
For more information on the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase, please visit usahockeyarena.com.