Massimo Rizzo (No 18) shoots the puck between US goalie Isaiah Saville’s legs for the first shootout goal in Team Canada West’s first game of the World Junior A Challenge. Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images

Penticton Vees Rizzo helps Team Canada to win over U.S.

Massimo Rizzo scores at World Junior A Challenge

It took a shootout to decide Team Canada West’s first game of the World Junior A Challenge as they faced down the U.S.

After a 1-1 tie in regulation and scoreless five minutes of three-on-three overtime, it was the Penticton Vees Massimo Rizzo that 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 Griffin Ness jammed a backhand under the cross-bar on the fifth American attempt with the game on the line.

Rizzo’s second try (sixth round) was blocked by Saville with a poke check, and it was up to Alex Newhook (Victoria Grizzlies) to score the final goal in the seventh round.

“I think more than anything, the guys realized that the tournament is at a different level than even our selection camp was, which they thought was very difficult. So it’s that approach that we were able to utilize this game. We have to be at our very best for every team in this tournament,” said Rick Swan, head coach for Team Canada West, on his team’s mindset after Team Canada West’s opening-night win.

West’s goalie Matthew Davis (Spruce Grove, AJHL) finished with 41 saves in regulation and overtime before turning away six of seven attempts in the shootout

The game was a goaltending duel from the very start, with Davis and U.S. netminder Isaiah 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 (Langley Rivermen) responded for the Canadians less than four minutes later, taking a long stretch pass from West captain T.J. Lloyd (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.

Canada West is right back to action Monday night, taking on Canada East (5 p.m. PST).


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Talks continue on structure of regional fire departments

Okanagan-Similkameen directors heard under the current structure the CAO’s title would need to change

South Okanagan dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Celebrate women in business with the 26th Annual Mainly for Women Trade Show

Presented by Women of Oliver for Women (W.O.W.) on Feb. 16

Vaseux Lake ‘crux’ in Osoyoos to Penticton trail

Regional directors heard Thursday the highly sensitive area of Vaseux Lake is challenging for trails

Get your tickets to the 7th annual Vertical & Vintages Wine Weekend

Hosted at the Apex Mountain Resort in partnership with the Naramata Bench Wineries Association

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

COLUMN: Anger rising in Yellow Vests Canada movement

While the protests so far have been peaceful and orderly, there is also a simmering level of rage

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

Most Read