MAIER GETS SHUTOUT, BLACK BLANKS WHITE IN U17 OPENER
JASON LA ROSE
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Nolan Maier (Yorkton, Sask./Yorkton, SJHL) stopped all 28 shots he faced for the shutout, backstopping Canada Black to a 1-0 win over Canada White in the opening game for both Sunday at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Alex Beaucage (Trois-Rivières, Que./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) scored the lone goal for Black, which ended a three-game preliminary-round losing streak to White.
Black carried the play in the first period, holding an 11-8 advantage in shots on goal, and struck on its first power-play opportunity; the rebound of a Kaedan Korczak (Yorkton, Sask./Kelowna, WHL) shot popped back into the slot and onto the stick of Beaucage, who beat White goaltender Taylor Gauthier (Calgary, Alta./Prince George, WHL) just shy of the midway mark of the opening frame.
That would be it for offence, as Maier and Gauthier combined to stop 56 of 57 shots.
Neither team was without opportunities over the final 40 minutes; White had four chances on the power play in the second and third periods, including one with less than five minutes left, but couldn’t find the tying marker.
Maier became just the third Canadian goaltender to post a shutout since the tournament went to the eight-team format in 2014, joining Dylan Wells (Canada Red vs. Slovakia, 2014) and Kevin Mandolese (Canada Red vs. Russia, 2016).
Both teams are back in action Monday; Canada White is up first, taking on the United States (2:30 p.m. MT) before Canada Black takes on the Czech Republic (7 p.m. MT).