DAWSON CREEK, B.C.- The U.S. National Under-17 Team defeated Canada Red, 6-4 to win the gold medal at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge here tonight. The U.S. finished with a 6-0-0 record in the tournament.
Cole Caufield (Stevens Point, Wis.) led the scoring for U.S. in its win, netting three goals.
The U.S. came out strong in the first period, scoring four goals in the first 20 minutes.
Caufield scored his first goal after he sent in a one-timer off Jack Hughes’ (Orlando, Fla.) centering pass to open the scoring at 7:43 of the first period.
Hughes netted a goal at the 14:17 mark of the first with help from Matthew Boldy (Millis, Mass.).
Owen Lindmark (Naperville, Ill.) extended Team USA’s lead to 3-0 at 17:28 of the first frame. Alex Turcotte (Island Lake, Ill.) picked up an assist on the goal.
Caufield tallied his second goal of the game at 19:39 of the first period to send the U.S. into the first intermission with a 4-0 lead over Canada Red. Marshall Warren (Laurel Hollow, N.Y.) recorded the lone assist on the goal.
Caufield backhanded the puck into the net at 1:19 of the second period, giving him a hat trick and extending the U.S. lead to 5-0.
Canada Red answered back with three consecutive goals of its own at 9:02, 11:55, and 15:16 of the second period to make it a 5-3 game.
Alex Vlasic (Wilmette, Ill.) added an empty-netter for the U17s at 19:09 of the third period.
Canada Red netted its fourth goal at 19:27 of the third period for a final score of 6-4.
U.S. goaltender Cameron Rowe (Wilmette, Ill.) finished the game with 21 saves while Canada Red’s Luke Cavallin finished with 35 saves.
Lindmark was named the U.S. Player of the Game.
This is the Team USA’s first World Under-17 Hockey Challenge first place finish and gold medal since January 2014.