U17: Monahan leads Team Ontario to gold medal win

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The Canadian Press
1/5/2011 2:51:57 AM
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WINNIPEG -- Sean Monahan may only be a teenager, but he already has a memorable moment on a big stage.

Monahan scored twice as Team Ontario defeated the United States 5-3 on Tuesday to capture the gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The forward from Brampton, Ont., registered his team's second goal of the night before adding the winner at 7:13 of the third period.

He also had the only goals in his team's 2-1 semifinal overtime win against Team Quebec.

"It was probably the biggest part of my hockey career," said the 16-year-old Monahan, who plays in the Ontario Hockey League for the Ottawa 67's.

"It was just a great experience, and scoring those goals is really exciting for me."

The victory was Team Ontario's eighth gold medal at the event and halted the Americans' attempt to repeat. The U.S. defeated Ontario 2-1 in last year's final.

The game was played before a crowd of 12,060 at MTS Centre, which set an attendance record for an under-17 gold-medal game. The previous mark was 8,896 at the 2008 event in London, Ont.

Ontario's other goals came from Kerby Rychel, Brendan Gaunce and Mathew Campagna.

Nikolas Olsson, Miles Koules and Seth Jones replied for the U.S.

Earlier in the day, Team Pacific claimed the bronze medal with a 5-4 overtime victory against Quebec. Forward Brandon Magee of Edmonton scored the winner at 1:34 of the extra period.

Ontario led 3-1 after the first period, but the Americans tied it 3-3 with Jones' short-handed goal at 1:07 of the third.

It was at that point Team Ontario's bench dug down, head coach Jake Grimes said.

"It's a matter of the guys making a conscious decision to really make the responsible choice and play Canadian hockey," said Grimes, who coaches the OHL's Belleville Bulls.

"It's not always fancy off the start, but it's all the little plays -- it's the cycling, it's the chip up the wall, it's taking the hit to make the play."

Daniel Altshuller turned aside 18 shots to get the win.

With his team up 4-3 and just under eight minutes to play in the third, Altshuller was run into by U.S. captain Jacob Trouba. The Ottawa native lay on the ice for a minute, but got up and remained in net.

Collin Olson started in net for the Americans, but was pulled in favour of Jared Rutledge after allowing three goals on six shots in the first period.

Campagna provided Ontario with a cushion when he upped the score to 5-3 on a penalty shot at 15:58 of the third.

In the bronze-medal contest, Steven Hodges, Robert Trzonkowski, Mike Winther and Hunter Shinkaruk scored for Team Pacific, which trailed 3-1 and 4-3 in the final period.

Dominic Poulin, with two, Luca Ciampini and Felix Girard replied for Team Quebec.

Devon Fordyce made 21 saves to pick up the win for Team Pacific, while Francois Tremblay made 19 saves in defeat.

Hockey Canada (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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