Canada beat the co-host Czech Republic squad 4-1 in the gold-medal game at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup on Saturday. The win marks the red-and-white’s 21st gold medal in 27 years of summer under-18 competition.
“It’s exciting. There are a lot of great teams and a lot of great countries [competing in the tournament], and to come out on top is pretty special,” said head coach Brent Kisio of winning the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. “The place was rocking; it was a great atmosphere, and it was a lot of fun [to play the Czech team on its home ice]. We [told the players] to enjoy it; it’s a pretty special experience playing over here, with these fans [who were] awesome. A lot of credit goes to [the fans] for the atmosphere of the game tonight.”
Amongst the members of Team Canada to win gold was goaltender Alexis Gravel of the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. Gravel also represented his country at the 2017 U18 World Championship earlier in the year as an underager.
The tournament is not sanctioned by the International Ice Hockey Federation, which has its own U18 championship. But the IIHF’s championship conflicts with the CHL major junior playoffs, so the Ivan Hlinka traditionally represents Canada’s chance to field its best U18 team in international play.
Source: hockeycanada.ca, sportsnet.ca