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Budgell, Mercer, Newhook close out World U17 Challenge

The United States won the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Saturday night, beating a Canada Red squad, that featured St. John’s native Brett Budgell, 6-4 in Dawson Creek, B.C.

Budgell was one of three Newfoundlanders skating in the event. Alex Newhook of St. John’s and Dawson Mercer of Bay Roberts played for Canada Black.

The U17 Challenge featured eight teams, including three from Canada (Black, Red and White) along with the U.S., Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland.

Budgell was held off the scoresheet through six games in the tournament. Newhook had a goal and three assists in five games, while Mercer had two goals in five games, including one in a 4-2 win over Sweden in the seventh-eighth place game.

Newhook skates for the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Hockey League, and is committed to attending Boston College. Mercer is a rookie with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League after being selected eighth overall by the Volts in the 2017 QMJHL draft. Budgell is with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League, best known as a circuit that produces players for NCAA programs.

One of the Black team’s assistant coaches was Travis Crickard of St. John’s, who is an assistant coach for the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets.

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