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NHL Notebook: Canada beats USA for U-18 World Championship gold medal and USA adds nine additions to World Championship roster

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Photo credit:Steven Ellis
Aleena Aksenchuk
1 month ago
The U-18 Team Canada is bringing home back the gold medal for the first time since 2021 after beating Team USA in a thrilling U-18 World Championship final on Sunday.
The intensity of a Canada versus USA matchup at any age level is unparalleled, and the men’s U-18s lived up to this reputation, delivering a game that was nothing short of electrifying. 
Team USA’s Christian Humphreys was first to get on the board, scoring late into the first period. Still, Canada quickly answered back at the beginning of the second period with a goal from Ryder Ritchie to tie things up. 
USA quickly changed pace to regain the lead, with Cole Eiserman scoring at the 28:31 mark to take first place in USA Hockey National Team Development Program all-time scoring with his 127th goal, surpassing Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caufield (126). Teammate Cole Hutson quickly joined him on the score sheet to take a 3-1 lead for the Americans. 
Taking advantage of a power play opportunity, Canada’s Gavin McKenna pocketed one behind USA goaltender Nicholas Kempf to give Canada a one-goal deficit. 
The rivalry exploded during the third period, and things began to get interesting after a 5-minute major for head contact to USA’s Trevor Connelly completely changed the game.
Showing their resilience, McKenna scored his second of the night to level the score, and a minute later, Beaudoin put the Americans behind for the first time in the tournament. Tij Iginla’s goal at 54:19 secured a 5-3 lead for Canada. 
With the hopes of stirring up a late comeback, USA’s Brodie Ziemer made it 5-4 to bring USA back within one. 
McKenna sealed the deal for Canada, completing a hat-trick by scoring on an empty net, leading Canada to a triumphant 6-4 victory over the United States. 
Canada had not brought home gold since 2021, when Connor Bedard and Shane Wright led the charge. The win marks Canada’s fifth gold medal at the tournament, while Team USA wins its 20th medal.

USA adds nine additions to Men’s World Championship roster

USA Hockey is putting together an exciting mixture of veteran NHLers and college stars with the addition of nine players to their Men’s World Hockey Championship roster.
Mikey Eyssimont (Tampa Bay Lightning), Will Smith (Boston College), Ryan Leonard (Boston College), Kevin Hayes (St. Louis Blues), Matthew Kessel (St. Louis Blues), Brock Nelson (New York Islanders), Michael Kesselring (Arizona Coyotes), Jeff Petry (Montreal Canadiens), and Trey Augustine (Michigan State University) are the latest additions to the roster playing for the red, white, and blue and will join the previously announced 15 players. 
Among them are three players who recently aided in a gold medal win for Team USA at the 2024 World Junior Championships. San Jose Prospect Smith recently finished as the NCAA’s No.1 scorer, while Leonard is one of the top prospects in the Washington Capitals organization, and Augustine is considered one of the top goaltenders outside the NHL. 
Hayes, Nelson, and Petry will bring a veteran presence to the roster, with each player participating in the event in at least two previous years. Eyssimont will also aid as a veteran player after debuting in the tournament last season where he registered a goal and three points. 
Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin was initially supposed to participate in the event but, due to injury, is now unable to compete. 
After a disappointing loss in the bronze medal match to Latvia last year, the Americans are determined to make a strong comeback. With one of the strongest rosters of any team and the potential to add two more players and a goaltender, things are looking promising for Team USA.
Following a pre-tournament game against Slovakia on Tuesday, the team will head to Ostrava to begin their final preparations for the World Championship. The tournament will begin on May 10th, with Team USA’s first match against Sweden. 

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