BY DAN MCNEE
SLOVAKIA – Team Canada kept the streak alive and well on Saturday, shutting out the United States 4-0 for its sixth straight gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial U-18 Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia.
And just as he had during the IIHF World U-18 Championships in Russia earlier this year, Listowel’s Roland McKeown provided a steady hand on defence throughout the tournament. The 17-year-old second overall pick of the Kingston Frontenacs in the 2012 Ontario Hockey League draft already has two international gold medals to his credit heading into his first year of eligibility at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia next June. McKeown is a top prospect and expected to go early in the draft.
Canada opened the tournament with a 4-0 win over the Czech Republic, followed by a 4-3 loss to Sweden. A narrow 4-3 shootout win over Switzerland put the Canadians in first in pool ‘A’ heading into the elimination rounds. Canada beat Russia 3-1 in the semifinals before knocking off their nemesis in the final.
As of press time, McKeown could not be reached by The Banner for comment.