Photo by Hockey Canada
SUMMERSIDE, Prince Edward Island - U.S. player of the game Patrick Quinlan (Kennett Square, Pa.) turned aside a career-high 38 saves, but the U.S. National Under-17 Team dropped a 4-3 overtime heartbreak to Canada Red inside the Eastlink Centre at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The U17s finish the preliminary round in first place with 11 points and a 3-0-2-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.
The U.S. struck first, just 15 seconds into the game. Lincoln Kuehne (West Fargo, N.D.) connected with Richard Gallant (Cocord, Mass.) in the U.S. zone. Gallant carried the puck through center ice, danced around three Canadian skaters and fed a backhand pass to Maceo Phillips (Wayzata, Minn.) in the high slot, who ripped a wrister past Canadian netminder Isaac Gravelle for his first goal of the tournament.
Will Moore (Ithaca, N.Y.) gave Team USA a two-goal cushion with 5:57 to play in the opening stanza. Will Belle (Minnetonka, Minn.) dished the puck to Gallant, who sent it around the boards and Moore picked it up behind the net, scoring from the goal line off the skate of a Canadian defender.
Moore had a great chance with just over seven minutes left in the first with a wrister from the left cirle, but his shot rang off the crosssbar.
Brady Martin got Canada Red on the board, scoring five-hole right off the draw to open the middle frame, then Braeden Cootes found the equalizer with 3:50 to play in the period.
Canada Red took a brief lead 1:34 into the third at the hands of Ryan Roobroeck, but Landon Hafele (Fairbanks, Alaska) responded in just 16 seconds to keep things even. Cullen Potter (Minneapolis, Minn.) picked the puck off the stick of a Canadian forward at the point and dished it to Jack Murtagh (East Greenbush, N.Y.), who connected with Hafele on a backhand feed from behind the goal line. Hafele, waiting net front, beat Gravelle stick side to send the game to overtime.
Quinlan had several excellent saves in the extra time, but Canada Red's Gavin McKenna found the back of the net in the final 41 seconds to bring the final tally to 4-3.
The U17s, who earned a bye for tournament quarterfinals, advance to the semifinals of the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and will take the ice Friday (Nov. 10) against Czechia. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. ET from Eastlink Centre and can be streamed live here.