Penticton Vees player earns two points in Team Canada Black loss at World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Team Canada Black, which features two Penticton Vees players, suffered their first loss at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge against the U.S. on Tuesday. Hockey Canada images

Penticton Vees player Massimo Rizzo got his first point at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge but Team Canada Black suffered their first loss of the tournament.

Rizzo had two assists in the 5-4 loss to the U.S. on Tuesday in Dawson Creek. The loss means an all-Canada quarterfinal as Team Canada Black faces Team Canada Red at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Related: Penticton Vees selected to play for Team Canada

Canada Black held a 2-0 lead heading for most of the game with power play goals from Sasha Mutala, Kirby Dach. Rizzo earned an assist on the Dach goal in the second period.

Related: Vees get first win with Team Canada

The U.S. were relentless on Canada Black goaltender Nolan Maier (Yorktown, Sask/Yorkton, SJHL) racking up 17 shots the first 20 minutes, however they couldn’t find a way past him. It wasn’t until just past the four minute mark that U.S. forward Matthew Boldy cut the Black lead in half. The goal was the first allowed by Black in the tournament, ending a shutout streak of just over 156 minutes.

The U.S. team continued to attack the offensive zone in the third period scoring four straight within a matter of less than seven minutes, giving them a 5-2 lead.

Related: Penticton Vees continue winning ways with Team Canada

A loose puck in the crease was tapped into the U.S. goal by Black’s Tag Bertuzzi (Birmingham, Mich./Guelph, OHL), putting them down two goals at almost the half way mark in the third period. The power play goal was assisted on by Rizzo. Dawson Mercer (Bay Roberts, N.L./Drummondville, QMJHL) fired up the crowd scoring to pull Black within one goal with 3:04 left in the game.

With their goaltender pulled for the extra attacker Black pushed for 53 seconds with the puck never leaving the U.S. zone, but their defence locked down the one goal win.

Maier made 43 saves for Canada Black who were outshot 48-18.

In the other quarter finals on Thursday the Czech Republic will play Russia, Sweden faces the U.S. and Team Canada White will be up against Finland.

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