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Sawchenko leads Canada to gold at Hlinka Memorial Tournament

Ivan Hlinka
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

According to the Hockey Canada website on Saturday, Calgary native Zachary Sawchenko of the Moose Jaw Warriors made 17 saves as Canada defeated the Czech Republic 6-2 in the gold medal game at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic. The tournament is for the best hockey players in the world under the age of 18 and named after former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Ivan Hlinka who died in a car accident in 2004.

Sawchenko made eight saves in the first period, three saves in the second period and six saves in the third period. It was a strong defensive game for Canada as they limited the Czech Republic to under 20 shots on net in the championship final.

Five players on Team Canada recorded multi-point games. Thornhill, Ontario's Mitchell Marner of the London Knights had a goal and two assists for three points, Mount Brydges, Ontario's Lawson Crouse of the Kingston Frontenacs scored twice, Amos, Quebec's Nicolas Roy of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens had a goal and an assist, while Richelieu, Quebec's Jeremy Roy of the Sherbrooke Phoenix and Oakville, Ontario's Matthew Spencer had two assists each.

Canada got off to a great start in the contest with four unanswered goals before the Czech Republic outscored Canada 2-1 in the second frame. Canada has dominated the tournament since it began in 1991. Canada has finished in first place 19 times out of the 24 tournaments.

In the tournament, Sawchenko was 4-0 with a 2.25 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. Along the way, Sawchenko defeated Switzerland, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the United States. Meanwhile Calgary native Nick Merkley of the Kelowna Rockets ended the tournament with four assists. Merkley will be eligible for the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft, while Sawchenko will not be eligible until the 2016 National Hockey League Entry Draft.