International hockey invades UCCU complex

By Joel Charron

Amherstburg hockey fans got a sneak peak into the World U-17 Hockey Challenge as Team West and Team Germany collided in an exhibition match at the United Communities Credit Union Complex last Wednesday night.

Germany snuck away with a 5-4 overtime win over Team West in a game thatincluded a frantic pace, bone jarring hits and dirty dangles.

 

Canada West’s starting goalie Austin Lotz makes a last second pad save after having the puck redirected by Germany’s Marc Schmidpeter.

Team West is one of five Canadian teams in the U-17 Hockey Challenge. Team West is comprised of Canadian hockey players from Manitoba and Saskatchewan and featured players such as Alex Forsberg, son of former NHL superstar Peter Forsberg.

Despite the loss, Team West’s starting goaltender and player of the game, Austin Lotz, said the team’s confidence is still very high.

Lotz mentioned that the team has only been together a few days with a few practices under their belt before taking the ice against Germany.

“We’ve only had a few practices before this but we’re starting to pick it up and feel we’re going to have a good tournament,” said Lotz.

Lotz noted wearing the Canada jersey is something that he takes pride in.

“Anytime you put on the Canada jersey it’s a great feeling,” he said. “It’s an honour to

Germany’s Leon Draisaitl knocks the pucks past Canada West goalie Mack Shields in second period action.

represent your country and area.”

Canada started slow in the first period and that allowed Marco Sedlar to open the scoring for Germany 4:13 into the game. Team West tied the game before the period ended when Remi Laurencelle tallied at the 13:44 mark.

Denis Bosc tied the game for Team West 7:02 into the third period with Madison Bowey giving the West a 4-3 lead exactly two minutes later. The lead was short lived as Sedlar’s second of the game tied it 1:14 after Bowey’s goal.

In overtime, Germany’s Dominik Kahun was the hero by knocking in the game winner.

Leon Draisaitl, who was named Germany’s player of the game, recorded a goal and an assist thought the Germany squad played well on foreign soil. He noted that the team arrived in Canada on Dec. 26 before spending two weeks training together.

 

Canada West’s Nicholas Zajac tries to muslce past Germany’s Denis Shevyrin in the dying mintues of the third period.

“We think we’ve got a good team,” Draisaitl said. “We have to play our best hockey. I think we are a good team.”

Prior to the game, there was a ceremonial puck drop by Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association president Marc Renaud between captains Carter Hansen of Team West and Erik Gollenbeck of Germany.  Flagbearers Aaron Brush and Patrick Monforton stood with the two clubs during the opening ceremonies and national anthems.

The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge began Thursday, Dec 29.

Games are being played in LaSalle, Tecumseh and Windsor.

The gold medal game will be played the the WFCU Centre on Jan. 4 on 7 p.m.

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