Brandon forward Jesse Gabrielle and Wheat Kings prospect Colt Conrad both scored specialty-team goals to help Team West beat Germany 4-3 at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Friday in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.
Conrad notched his goal short-handed, while Gabrielle scored on a power play. Boissevain’s Meyer Nell set up Ryan Gardiner for the winning goal, eight minutes into the third period, as West finished the 10-team tournament in ninth place. The game was the last for the forseeable future for West, a team made up of players from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as Hockey Canada will abandon the regional team format next year and ice three national teams with a mixture of players from across the country instead.
Conrad finished the tournament as West’s leading scorer, with three goals and four assists in five games along with two penalty minutes. Gabrielle ended up with a goal, an assist and 16 penalty minutes in the tournament, with Nell picking up one assist and a minor penalty. Defenceman Wyatt Kalynuk of Virden was held off the scoresheet during the event, while goalie Tyson Verhelst of Brandon gave up five goals in his only game. Wheat Kings goaltending coach Brent Zelenewich filled the same role on West’s coaching staff.
Meanwhile, Wheat Kings forward Braylon Shmyr and Team Pacific will play in the championship final today (3 p.m., TSN) against the United States. Shmyr, who has two assists in the tournament, didn’t figure in the scoring on Friday as Pacific cruised to a 7-3 win over Russia. The U.S. blasted Quebec 9-1 in the other semifinal.
Pacific, made of up players from Alberta and British Columbia, has never won the Challenge, while the United States claimed the last of its three titles in 2010.
» Brandon Sun