WHL talent helps Canada to gold medal at 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship – Kamloops Blazers

August 21, 2022 at 8:49 am  Kamloops Blazers, Sports

Edmonton, Alta. – Canada captured a gold medal at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over Finland Saturday at Rogers Place.

After the Finns forced overtime with a pair of third-period goals, the Canadians scored 3:20 into extra time to earn their third gold medal in the past five years, and 19th overall.

A total of 10 WHL players were on the 23-player Canadian roster; Kamloops Blazers captain Logan Stankoven earned an assist on Saturday’s golden goal, while Everett Silvertips defenceman Olen Zellweger also had a helper in the contest, coming within one assist of matching the all-time Canadian record by a defenceman in a single IIHF World Junior Championship.

Stankoven’s Kamloops teammate, goaltender Dylan Garand, made 30 saves in Saturday’s game including 15 in a frantic third period.

Zellweger, who finished the tournament with 11 points (2G-9A), led all WHL skaters in scoring at the event.

Stankoven followed closely behind with 10 points (4G-6A).

2023 NHL Draft prospect Connor Bedard (Regina Pats) finished the tournament with four goals, eight points and a +9 rating which ranked second among Canada’s forwards only to team captain Mason McTavish.

Garand, a prospect of the New York Rangers, completed the tournament by posting a 6-0-0 record, 1.98 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.

He was the lone member of this year’s Canadian squad to also have captured a silver medal in the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The Canadian roster featured six additional WHL players: forwards Ridly Greig (Brandon Wheat Kings) and Zack Ostapchuk (Vancouver Giants), defencemen Ronan Seeley (Everett Silvertips), Carson Lambos (Winnipeg ICE) and Daemon Hunt (Moose Jaw Warriors), as well as goaltender Sebastian Cossa (Edmonton Oil Kings).

Everett Silvertips GM / head coach Dennis Williams and Vancouver Giants head coach Michael Dyck both served on the Canadian coaching staff as assistants.

Vancouver Giants athletic trainer Mike Burnstein was one of two athletic therapists on the Canadian staff, while Red Deer Rebels team physician Dr. Barry Wiens served in a similar role for Team Canada.

Finland defenceman Kasper Puutio, who skated with the Swift Current Broncos and Everett Silvertips during the 2019-20 WHL season, was named the tournament’s Top Defenceman.

Sweden won the bronze medal in a Saturday afternoon affair, defeating Czechia 3-1. Vancouver Giants forward Fabian Lysell scored the opening goal in Sweden’s victory, its second in a bronze medal match in the past three years.

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