World U18 hockey: Canada beats Russia 5-3 in title game

The Detroit News
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Brennan Othmann broke a tie with a sharp-angle shot early in the second period and Canada won the world under-18 hockey championship Thursday night, beating Russia 5-3 for its fourth title and first since 2013.

Shane Wright scored twice, Connor Bedard and Logan Stankoven also scored and Benjamin Gaudreau made 31 saves for Canada.

Matvei Michkov, Dmitri Buchelnikov and Vladimir Grudinin scored for Russia.

Othmann beat goalie Sergei Ivanov high into the corner from deep in the zone to give Canada a 3-2 lead at 4:42 of the second. Stankoven made it 4-2 with 3:21 left in the period.

Grudinin pulled Russia within a goal on a power play at 9:37 of the third, and Wright sealed it with an empty-netter with 40 second to go.

Michkov opened the scoring for Russia at 5:13 of the first with his tournament-best 12th goal of the tournament. Bedard tied it with 4:01 left, Buchelnikov countered for Russia with 55 seconds to go, and Wright tied it again 10 seconds later.

Sweden beat Finland 8-0 in the third-place game. Isak Rosen scored twice for Sweden and Carl Lindbom made 35 saves.

Team USA eliminated by Sweden in quarterfinal

Team USA was eliminated from the U18 world championships with a 5-2 quarterfinal loss to Sweden on Monday in Frisco, Texas.

Northville's Sasha Pastujov scored his team-leading fifth goal, Justin Savage had the other goal and Grand Rapids' Homer Gibson replaced goalie Kaidan Mbereko, who allowed two goals on 18 shots.

Clarkston's Ty Gallagher, right, carries the puck during a 5-2 loss against Sweden in a quarterfinal of the world U18 tournament in Frisco, Texas.

Fabian Lysell, a Frolunda teammate of Red Wings draft pick Lucas Raymond and a first-round prospect for the 2021 draft, scored two goals for Sweden.

Sweden will face Canada in the semifinals. Canada beat the Czech Republic 10-3. Fifteen-year-old Connor Bedard, who could be the first pick in the 2023 draft, had two goals and three assists. Shane Wright, who may be the first pick in the 2022 draft, had one goal and one assist.

In the other semifinal, Russia will face Finland.

Gallagher, Pastujov rally Team USA

Clarkston's Ty Gallagher scored the tying goal for Team USA with three seconds left in the third period and Northville's Sasha Pastujov scored the winning goal to beat Finland 5-4 in overtime at the 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Frisco, Texas.

The U.S. will face Sweden in Monday's quarterfinal (9 p.m., NHL Network).

Pastujov is tied for eighth in tournament scoring with four goals and three assists and Gallagher has three goals for the United States.

Team USA's Liam Gilmartin, left, battles Finland's Topias Vilen during the U.S.'s 5-4 OT win in Texas on Saturday.

The top scorer is 16-year-old Russian forward Matvei Michkov, who has nine goals and two assists and is expected to battle Canada's Connor Bedard for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. The record for most points by a 16-year-old in the U18 event is Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkn, who had 14 goals and four assists in 2002.

One of the top prospects for the 2021 draft is Sweden's 6-foot-5 defenseman Simon Edvinsson, a teammate of Red Wings draft pick Lucas Raymond with Frolunda. Edvinsson has two assists in the tournament and suffered his second knee-on-knee hit in Saturday's 7-0 win over Latvia.

The Red Wings lead the NHL with 12 picks in the 2021 draft, including eight picks in the top 100 and five in the top 60. Buffalo is second with 10 picks followed by Montreal, Minnesota and Columbus with nine picks.

Sasha Pastujov scores goal vs. Czechs

Northville's Sasha Pastujov scored his team-leading third goal in Team USA's 2-1 shootout victory against the Czech Republic on Thursday at the 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Frisco, Texas.

Pastujov had a team-high six shots on goal and scored the tying goal in the third period and goalie Kaidan Mbereko (Aspen, Colo.) made 30 saves plus an additional five in the shootout to improve the U.S.'s record to 2-1. 

Clarkston's Ty Gallagher, right, looks to make a pass during Team USA's 2-1 shootout win against the Czechs on Thursday in Frisco, Texas.

"You go through a tournament like this and that mental resiliency has to play a role and we’ve faced that already," said Team USA coach Dan Muse, who is also the coach of the U18 team with the National Team Development Program in Plymouth.

"The big thing for me is that we’re learning from things. We’re learning when things don’t go well, because nothing is going to be perfect."

Midland's Roman Schmidt added three shots and Clarkston's Ty Gallagher had two shots against the Czechs. The United States will close out the preliminary round on Saturday against Finland.

World U18 tourney glance

What: 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Hockey Championship

Where: Frisco and Plano, Texas

U.S. schedule: Monday Lost 7-6 in OT vs. Russia, Tuesday won 5-3 vs. Germany, Thursday won 2-1 in a shootout vs. Czech Republic, Saturday won 5-4 in overtime vs. Finland

Playoffs: Quarterfinals lost 5-2 to Sweden on Monday, semifinals on Wednesday, May 5, final on Thursday, May 6 

TV: Playoffs on The Hockey Network, preliminary games streamed on HockeyTV.com. 

Clarkston's Ty Gallagher moves up ice in front of Grand Rapids goalie Homer Gibson in Team USA's 5-2 win over Germany at the world U18 championships in Texas.

Homer Gibson backstops U.S. to win

Grand Rapids goalie Homer Gibson led Team USA to a 5-3 win against Germany at the 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship on Tuesday in Frisco, Texas.

A day after allowing seven goals in a 7-6 overtime loss against Russia, Gibson was back in goal and turned aside 25 shots to even the team's record at 1-1.

Clarkston's Ty Gallagher was named the player of the game with two power-play goals and Northville's Sasha Pastujov scored a goal for the second straight game.

Team USA has Wednesday off before facing the Czech Republic on Thursday.

Also Tuesday, Canadian captain Shane Wright, who is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, had a hat trick in a 12-1 win over defending champion Sweden. It was the Swede's most lopsided loss in U18 world competition.

Team USA's Sasha Pastujov, right, celebrates a goal with Logan Cooley, from left, Dylan Duke and Lane Hutson during a 7-6 overtime loss against Russia on Monday at the world U18 championship in Frisco, Texas.

Northville's Sasha Pastujov has 3 points

Northville's Sasha Pastujov had one goal and two assists for Team USA in a 7-6 overtime loss against Russia on Monday in the first preliminary-round matchup of the 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Frisco, Texas.

The line of Pastujov, Dylan Duke (2 goals) and Logan Cooley (one assist) combined for six points for the U.S., which led 5-1 before Russia rallied with captain Nikita Chibrikov scoring the winning goal at 1:25 of overtime.

"We've been playing together for a while and we trust each other," Pastujov told iihf.com about his chemistry with NTDP teammate Duke. "And we've built that trust over the years. Our center Logan Cooley is a vital part of our line as well. And we're just going to have to keep growing with each game this tournament."

Russia's 16-year-old Matvei Michkov, who is expected to battle Canada's 15-year-old Connor Bedard for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL draft, scored two goals against Grand Rapids' Homer Gibson, who faced 35 shots in goal.

"Emotions are still high right now when you lose a game like that," said U.S. coach Dan Muse, the coach of the U18 NTDP team in Plymouth. "It's a tough pill for everybody to swallow. The biggest thing for us is going to be just moving on to that next game and making sure that we're in a good frame of mind when we get to work here tomorrow."

Team USA will play Germany on Tuesday. Germany opened with a 3-1 loss to the Czech Republic. Sweden, which won the 2019 world title on a hat trick by Red Wings draft pick Lucas Raymond in the gold-medal game against Russia, beat Belarus 5-1.

Clarkston's Ty Gallagher scored a goal for Team USA in a 5-1 win over Sweden in the team's only pre-tournament game of the 2021 world U18 tourney in Frisco, Texas.

Clarkston's Ty Gallagher scores goal 

Clarkston's Ty Gallagher scored a goal for Team USA in a 5-1 win over Sweden in the team's only pre-tournament game of the 2021 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Hockey Championship on Saturday in Frisco, Texas.

Gallagher is a 6-0, 190-pound defenseman who had 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 41 games with the National Team Development Program this year.

A national champion with the U14 Compuware team in 2018 and a 2022 commit to the University of Notre Dame, the 18-year-old Gallagher had 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 49 games with the U17 NTDP last year.

Gibson Homer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Kaidan Mbereko (Aspen, Colo.) split the game in net and Northville resident Sasha Pastujov had an assist for Team USA, which will begin the tournament on Monday against Russia at 9 p.m.

The 2020 tournament was scheduled for USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth before the event was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plymouth was set to host again this year as a do-over but with Michigan’s stricter COVID guidelines, USA Hockey moved the tournament to the Dallas suburbs at the Comerica Center in Frisco and the Children’s Health StarCenter in Plano.

This year's U18 worlds feature players born in 2003 and earlier and is the last major tournament for draft eligible players prior to their first year of draft eligibility.

The Red Wings lead the NHL with 12 picks in the 2021 draft, including eight picks in the top 100 and five in the top 60. Buffalo is second with 10 picks followed by Montreal, Minnesota and Columbus with nine picks.

The U.S. enters the tournament having medaled in a record 16 consecutive tournaments, including six golds in the past 10 events.

Twenty-three of the 24 players on Team USA's roster are from the NTDP, including Gallagher, Homer, Mbereko and Pastujov.

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