Ritchie records pair of points as Canada wraps up pre-tournament schedule at U18 World Championship

Hockey Canada photo. Canada opens up the U18 World Hockey Championships against Sweden on Thursday morning.

Canada needed overtime to defeat Norway 4-3 in their final pre-tournament game of the IIHF U18 World Championships in Vantaa, Finland.

Matthew Schaefer would be the overtime hero for the Canadians as he would strike just 2:18 into the extra frame. Porter Martone and Gavin McKenna assisted on the play.

Prince Albert Raider forward Ryder Ritchie chipped in with a goal and an assist.

“We look at this as phase one is now complete.” said Canada head coach Gardiner McDougall in a press release. “It was a chance to get five practices in together, a pregame skate and two pre-tournament games against two good opponents. Part of this is trying to experience as many situations as possible that may come up in the games.

“Tonight, we didn’t score first but responded, had a lead, protected it then gave it up and found a way to win in overtime. We also had a chance at a shootout scenario, which are all things that could come up in a tournament. Overall, the group is united, their attitude and work ethic has been outstanding and it’s a chance to get better ahead of our first game.”

Linus Morken would open up the scoring for Norway at the 4:32 mark of the first period with a short handed goal.

Canada would respond less then two minutes later. Ritchie would strike on the power play at the 6:26 mark of the opening frame to pull the Canadians even. Jett Luchanko and Matthew Schaefer had the assists.

The lone goal of the second period would go to Canada as Caleb Desnoyers would strike at the 14:02 mark of the middle frame. Kashawn Aitcheson provided the lone assist.

Canada’s lead would be doubled at the 6:45 mark of the third period as Liam Greentree found the back of the net. Luchanko and Ritchie provided the assists on the play.

Just over a minute later, Norway would pull within one as Mathias Dehli would strike at the 7:59 mark. Erlend Sletmoe-Kjærnet and Tinus Luc Koblar provided the helpers on the play.

Just five seconds later, Lukas Finckenhagen would tie the game at 3-3 with his first goal of the contest. Mikkel Eriksen and Bård Valstad Solheim provided the helpers.

Canada opens up the tournament against Sweden on Thursday morning. Puck drops at 10 a.m. Saskatchewan time.