Davis shines as Canada West edges U.S. in shootout thriller

By Jason La Rose, Hockey Canada

BONNYVILLE, Alta. – Matthew Davis (Calgary, Alta./Spruce Grove, AJHL) finished with 41 saves in regulation and overtime before turning away six of seven attempts in the shootout, and Alex Newhook (St. John’s, N.L./Victoria, BCHL) netted the winner to give Canada West a 2-1 extra-time win over the United States.

After five-consecutive Canadians had been stopped by Isaiah Saville, Newhook snapped a quick shot past the glove of the U.S. netminder, and Davis stopped Matt Brown to give West the extra point.

The game was a goaltending duel from the very start, with Davis and Saville combining for 34 saves through a scoreless – and fast-paced – opening 40 minutes.

The U.S. finally broke through thanks to its penalty kill; Grant Silianoff forced a turnover at the defensive blue-line and carried into the Canadian zone before finding Griffin Ness, who snuck a backhand behind Davis on the glove side for a shorthanded goal and a 1-0 lead.

Ethan Leyh (Port Moody, B.C./Langley, BCHL) responded for the Canadians less than four minutes later, taking a long stretch pass from West captain T.J. Lloyd (Lloydminster, Alta./Spruce Grove, AJHL) and toe-dragging around a U.S. defenceman before wiring a wrist shot past Saville.

Davis took over from there, making 20 of his 41 saves in the third period as the Americans swarmed unsuccessfully for the go-ahead goal.

After a scoreless five minutes of three-on-three overtime, Massimo Rizzo (Burnaby, B.C./Penticton, BCHL) gave West an early lead with a gorgeous goal in the shootout.

That would be it for goals – thanks in part to a pair of posts on the two American shots – until Ness jammed a backhand under the cross-bar on the fifth American attempt with the game on the line.

Rizzo and Bobby Brink missed their shots in Round 6 before Newhook potted the winner.

Canada West is right back to action Monday night, taking on Canada East (7 p.m. MT), while the Americans will enjoy a day off before taking on the Czech Republic in the lone game Tuesday (7 p.m. MT).

Photo Credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images