Jade Kennett scored 2:28 into overtime as Canada earned a berth in the under-18 gold-medal final with a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic at the world junior ball hockey championship Friday in Mount Pearl.
Canada still has one preliminary-round game remaining against Great Britain today, but with a 5-0 record entering that 4 p.m. matchup, the defending champions in the division have guaranteed itself a berth in the championship contest Sunday afternoon at the Glacier.
The Canadians’ opponent in that game will either be the Czechs (4-0-1) or the United States (4-1-0), who will close out their round-robin schedule against each other 2 p.m. today at the Glacier.
While there are still round-robin games remaining in the seven-team U18 division, preliminary play is completed in the five-team U20 competition, where Canada — with five Newfoundlanders on its roster — will face Slovakia in a 6 p.m. semifinal today. That’s a rematch of their game from Friday night, which saw the Slovaks won 7-4.
Canada, defending champion Slovakia and the Czech Republic all finished with 3-1 records in the round robin, but the Czechs were awarded first place in the tiebreaker and will take on the United States (1-3) at 8 p.m. today in the other semifinal. The U20 gold-medal final is 7 p.m. Sunday.
In the U18 division, the playoff round consists of a series of placement games — 5th vs 6th, 4th vs 3rd for the bronze medal and 2nd vs 1st for the gold medal — and no matter the results today, Canada will finish in the top two in the preliminary round.
Fogo Island’s Brent Broaders, one of four Newfoundlanders on the Canadian team, leads the U18 side in scoring with 12 points (8G, 4A). Dawson Mercer of Bay Roberts, a forward in ice hockey with the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs, is a defenceman for Canada at the world junior ball hockey championships and has nine points (3G, 6A).
Jesse Sutton of Mount Pearl is tied for the Canadian U20 points lead with seven points (1G, 6A).