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ASSISTS ON OT WINNER – Canada Red’s Gavin McKenna is seen here in a game against Finland Nov. 2 in Charlottetown. Photo courtesy JANESSA HOGAN / HOCKEY CANADA IMAGES

McKenna assists on overtime goal as Red downs Finland for fifth

Gavin McKenna showed that he belonged in his first international tournament.

By Morris Prokop on November 14, 2023

Gavin McKenna showed that he belonged in his first international tournament.

McKenna assisted on an overtime goal by Nathan Lacompte that propelled the Canada Red team to a 5-4 victory over Finland Friday in the fifth-place game of the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

The teams traded goals in the first period, which ended in a 2-2 tie.

Ryan Roobroeck put Red ahead 3-2 in the second period.

Things were looking good for Canada when Ryan Brown scored a short-hander 2:33 into the third for a 4-2 lead.

However, Finland roared back with two goals in less than two minutes to tie up the game, setting up Lacompte to be the Red’s hero 3:35 into overtime.

Lacompte was named Player of the Game for Canada Red for his OT effort.

On Thursday, in a rematch between Canada’s Red and White teams in the quarterfinals, more overtime heroics saw White beat Red 3-2.

Team White got off to a good start, with Mateo Norbert scoring the only goal of the first period.

Red took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission after tallies by Brady Martin and Chase Harrington.

Lev Katzin struck for the white to tie up the game 4:44 into the third period.

That set the stage for Émile Guité to win it for the Whites at 3:45 of overtime.

Of note, this was the only game other than an earlier 4-0 loss to Czechia in which McKenna failed to register a point.

Donning the Canada sweater for the first time, McKenna totalled five goals and three assists in seven games in the tournament.

As of Friday, McKenna sat third in tournament scoring behind Will Moore (11 points) and Charlie Trethewey (nine points) of the U.S.

McKenna tied with teammate Cole Reschny (three goals, five assists) for the Canada Red scoring lead.

He was also second in the tourney in goals as of Friday, with the semifinals and medal games still to come.

Canada White beat Sweden 6-1 in one of the semifinals on Friday. Émile Guité led Canada White with two goals and an assist.

Canada White then edged the U.S. 2-1 in overtime on Saturday to capture the bronze medal, with Cameron Schmidt netting the winner 9:18 into the extra frame.

The Star will have more on McKenna’s first international experience later in the week.

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