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

BCHLPenticton Vees

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton Vees recognized on and off ice success

The awards were given out following their Saturday night win.

Dale family was prominent in Summerland’s past

Ruth Dale taught for many years

Penticton Vees comeback for overtime win to end regular season

The Vees were down 3-0 to start the third before putting together an epic comeback.

PHOTOS: Celebrating diversity in Penticton

Seventh annual OneWorld Festival celebrates the worlds of different cultures in the South Okanagan.

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

Most Read