Sunday, January 04, 2009
Team Pacific took to the ice last night against Team USA with a berth to the gold medal game at stake. Team Pacific was coming off a 6-3 loss to Team Ontario in their final preliminary game the night before and were looking for redemption after an opening 11-0 loss to Team USA. In the first semi-final game of the afternoon, Team Ontario beat Team West 7-4.
The game began with a two (2) goal flurry by Team Pacific in the first five (5) minutes of play. Ryan Harrison scored the first goal and one (1) minute later Brendan Ranford scored the second. Pacific goaltender Kent Simpson was able to keep the high-flying United States offense at bay. Team Pacific finished the first period ahead 2-0.
Pacific was able to keep the momentum going into the second period when Brett Connolly scored his third goal of the tournament seven (7) minutes into the frame. Team USA’s offense finally awoke mid-way through the second period and in a 10 minute span they scored five (5) consecutive goals to take a 5-3 lead. Team Pacific did not let this affect their play and with less than one (1) minute to play in the second period, Pacific’s Alex Petrovic scored to make it a 5-4 game.
The third period was a back and forth battle with the Americans protecting the one (1) goal lead. With 90 seconds to play in the game Pacific’s Max Reinhart scored the game tying goal from a spectacular pass from Troy Rutkowski. At the end of regulation the game was tied 5-5, which meant the fans were in for a 10 minute sudden death overtime and if needed, a shootout. With five (5) minutes left in overtime Alex Petrovic scored his second goal of the game and gave Team Pacific the 6-5 win.
“The semi-final win over the US highlighted the character, resolve and integrity of this group of players and displays how far we have come after an 11-0 loss at the hands of the same team in our first game,” said Team Pacific head coach Tim Kehler. “We have put ourselves in a position to achieve what no other Team Pacific has done.”
Team Pacific will now take to the ice tonight against Team Ontario for the gold medal. The game is scheduled for 5 pm at the Port Alberni Multiplex and can be seen on TSN.
For more information on Team Pacific and the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge please visit the
World Under 17 Hockey Challenge webpage
For more information about BC Hockey, please visit the BC Hockey website at