Alex Newhook was the lead scorer for Canada’s under-18 national team in its first game in a world championship bid, scoring a hat trick, including the overtime winner.
Canada won 6-5 against Belarus in the International Ice Hockey Federation friendly, at Umeå, Sweden this year, outshooting their opponents 29-25.
Head coach Brett Gibson said the team can draw lessons from the tough game later in the tournament.
“The preliminary games allow for teachable moments and tonight will be a game we can go back on to remind our group that we will get every country’s best and we need to be ready.”
At the end of the second period, Canada was down 5-3. Newhook brought the team within one in a powerplay at 12:40 in the third. Keean Washkurak tied the game with four minutes left in the game. Newhook scored the game-winner 45 seconds into overtime.
A Grizzlies top scorer, provincial MVP and former Rookie of the year, Newhook is expected to go in the first round of the NHL Draft, according to a recent scouting report released by the league. He is ranked 13th in the list overall among North American prospects.
IIHF U18 World Championship began in 1999. Canada has won the tournament three times: in 2003, 2008 and 2013. The US leads in championship wins with ten.
Canada is playing Russia next at 10 a.m. this morning.