Breclav, Czech Republic – Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team won the gold medal at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, defeating Sweden 4-1 in Saturday’s gold medal game in Breclav. It is the fourth year in a row and seventh time in eight years Canada has won the tournament, formerly known as the Junior World Cup.
Among the 22 players on Canada’s roster, five were members of clubs in the Western Hockey League, including Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Griffin Reinhart, Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Morgan Rielly, Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mathew Dumba, Portland Winterhawks blue-liner Derrick Pouliot and Medicine Hat Tigers forward Hunter Shinkaruk. Spokane Chiefs Head Coach Don Nachbaur also served as an assistant among Canada’s coaching staff.
Reinhart, 17, was the Oil Kings’ first-round selection (third overall) at the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft. He completed his first season in the Western Hockey League this year, earning rookie of the year honours with the Oil Kings, as he scored six goals and 19 assists for 25 points to go along with a plus-seven rating in 45 games. The West Vancouver, B.C. native is expected to be a top selection at the 2012 NHL Draft.
On Saturday in the championship game, Scott Laughton (Oakville, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) broke a 1-1 tie with the game-winning goal late in the second period and Brendan Gaunce (Markham, Ont./Belleville, OHL) and Charles Hudon (Boisbriand, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) added insurance goals in the third to help Canada avenge its lone loss of the tournament, a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Swedes in Monday’s round-robin opener.
Sean Monahan (Brampton, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) also scored for Canada, while Daniel Altshuller (Nepean, Ont./Nepean, CCHL) earned the win in the Canadian goal. Altshuller allowed just two goals in his final 11 periods of work following the loss to Sweden.
Canada’s roster was made up of 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders, and featured 12 players from the Ontario Hockey League, five from the Western Hockey League, three from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Hockey League, one from the Ligue de hockey midget AAA du Québec and one from the Central Canada Hockey League.