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NCAA sniper Gaudette tells Canucks he’s going back to school

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Vancouver will have to wait another year before getting Adam Gaudette in the mix.

Gaudette, who enjoyed a breakout campaign at NCAA Northeastern this year with 26 goals and 52 points in 37 games, told News 1130 he’s returning to school for his junior campaign, rather than turn pro.

A fifth-round pick in 2015, Gaudette looks to be a potential draft steal. He led the country in power play goals this year, with 16, and TSN analyst Craig Button called him a “gem.”

Gaudette further upped his stock by being named a finalist for the Walter Brown Award, given annually to the best American-born college player in New England (other candidates include Ottawa prospect Colin White, and Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy).

With Northeastern’s season over, there was much speculation the Canucks would persuade the 20-year-old to go pro.

“More development is best option for me,” Gaudette said as part of his explanation for going back to school. “Put on more weight and get faster and quicker.”

Vancouver is still expected to make a push for prized North Dakota prospect Brock Boeser to go pro at the end of his collegiate season. Boeser was the Canucks’ first-round pick (23rd overall) in ’15.

 

 

 

Flames battle back, then score late to beat Sharks

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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Chad Johnson and the Calgary Flames got a victory — after getting a big scare.

A late goal by Dougie Hamilton and a pair of clutch saves by Johnson led the Flames to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.

Hamilton scored at 17:41 of the third period, while Johnson turned aside a short-handed breakaway by Mikkel Boedker with just 8 seconds left in the game.

“I think everybody was pretty shocked,” Johnson said of Boedker’s late scoring chance. “We’ve got a power play and all of a sudden, 8 seconds left, a guy’s on a breakaway from the blue line. You’ve kind of just try to stay focused and stay with him and thankfully nothing came of it.”

Johnson also stuck out his left pad to stop Boedker from scoring on a penalty shot at 14:33 of the third.

“On the penalty shot, I just tried to stay with him,” said Johnson, who made 25 saves to pick up his 15th win of the season. “I played with him in Phoenix, so I tried to go back in the memory log there and just try to remember what he did. He had two good looks there, but I got lucky and made the saves.”

Hamilton and rookie Matthew Tkachuk both finished with a goal and an assist for the Flames, while Michael Frolik also scored. Mikael Backlund added a pair of assists.

“It’s big,” Hamilton said of beating the Pacific Division-leading Sharks. “I think for us, we’ve just go to try to win every game. … It’s tough to move up the standings, so we’ve got to do it now instead of trying to do it later in the season.”

Read more: The Flames are starting to grasp their new system, and it shows

Brent Burns had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, while Logan Couture also scored.

“Just losing makes it tough,” said Burns, who scored once and set up two others in Edmonton on Tuesday to lead the Sharks to a 5-3 win over the Oilers. “You don’t like to give away points. That’s all that matters.”

Making just his sixth start of the season, San Jose’s Aaron Dell made 25 saves in a losing cause.

“It was pretty cool,” said the 27-year-old Dell, who’s from nearby Airdrie, Alberta, and played two seasons for the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League from 2007-09.

“I dreamed of playing here growing up,” he added. “It was a dream come true. It could’ve been a little better.”

Couture opened the scoring at 9:40 of the first period when he redirected a point shot fired by Burns through Johnson’s legs for a power-play goal.

Frolik, who was in the penalty box serving a slashing penalty when Couture scored, then answered right back for the Flames at 11:22. Thanks to a nice second effort, Frolik shoveled a rebound past Dell to atone for his penalty.

Burns put the Sharks back up by one at 16:06 when his wrist shot from the point found the back of the net behind Johnson, who was screened on the play.

After being outshot 12-8 in the first period, the Flames turned the tables and outshot the Sharks 9-7 in the second. The Flames were rewarded for their hard work during a man advantage when Tkachuk deflected Backlund’s shot past Dell with 31.7 seconds left in the period.

 

An instant classic: Troy Terry plays the shootout hero, Team USA wins gold at World Juniors

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What a hockey game that was.

Exactly what else would you expect when Canada and the USA meet in the World Juniors? They authored another edge-of-your-seat classic Thursday with a gold medal on the line in Montreal.

Twice, Canada managed to pull out in front with a two-goal lead, including in the third period. But this is junior hockey, and it can be an emotional roller coaster for all involved, with wild swings in momentum. Tonight’s contest was no different. Twice, the Americans countered back to even the score, with both teams providing a dizzying array of scoring chances and close calls.

Troy Terry played the hero for Team USA in the shootout in the semifinal. And he did it again Thursday, as the only player to score in the five-round shootout. The Americans came back for the 5-4 win in a thriller.

Down 4-2 after a pair of quick Canadian goals early in the third period, the USA roared back. New York Islanders first-round pick Kieffer Bellows started the second comeback and Ottawa Senators prospect Colin White, less than three minutes later, tied this game.

Canada versus USA. Going to overtime. A game this good deserved some additional time. The extra period was off the charts, too, with the Americans forced to kill a too-many-men penalty and players on both sides exhausting themselves.

Terry didn’t score until the fourth round of the shootout. Tyler Parsons stopped all five shots faced in the shootout for the win.

 

Stars prospect Guryanov scores OT winner, Russia takes bronze at World Juniors

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The Russian junior hockey team has gone from heartbreak to celebration within the span of 24 hours to close out their World Juniors tournament.

After losing in a shootout to the U.S. in the semifinal on Wednesday, Russia rebounded with a 2-1 overtime victory against Sweden on a sudden goal early in the extra period to capture the bronze medal Thursday.

Dallas Stars prospect Denis Guryanov, who plays professionally for the Texas Stars in the American Hockey League, scored the winner just 31 seconds into overtime. He stole the puck inside the Swedish blue line and beat Flyers prospect goalie Felix Sandstrom on the back hand.

This result extends streaks for both teams.

Russia has now won a medal in each of the last seven world junior competitions, while on the other hand, Sweden has now finished fourth in three consecutive years.

Buckle up: Canada will face USA for gold at World Juniors

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Team Canada and Team USA will renew their rivalry, and this time it will be for a gold medal at the 2017 World Juniors.

Team USA punched its ticket to the championship game after a nerve-wracking semifinal shootout victory over Russia earlier on Wednesday. A few hours later, the opponent for Thursday’s finale was determined.

Despite trailing twice in the first period and a goaltending change, Canada advanced with a 5-2 victory in a thriller versus Sweden later in the evening. Julien Gauthier, taken 21st overall last year by the Carolina Hurricanes, scored the winner, jamming in a loose puck past Felix Sandstrom.

Gauthier scored the empty-netter late in the third period, eliminating any possibility of a miracle Sweden comeback.

Earlier anxiousness of Canadian hockey fans was replaced by jubilation in the end. But it didn’t start out so well for Canada.

Sweden jumped out to the lead on a short-handed goal, as Joel Eriksson-Ek beat Connor Ingram with a shot off the wing, an attempt that Ingram should’ve stopped.

The Swedes regained the lead two minutes later, as Carl Grundstrom slid the puck through the legs of Ingram. He was replaced in net by Carter Hart, a prospect of the Philadelphia Flyers, immediately after Sweden’s second goal.

But Canada took over in the second period, and continued that into the third, never really sitting back on the lead.

Now, it’s Canada vs. USA for the gold. These teams met in the round robin, with Team USA scoring the win on New Year’s Eve.