FINLAND – Roland McKeown can chalk up another accomplishment on his ever-growing hockey resume.
The 18-year-old Listowel native was named captain of Team Canada’s U18 squad at the 2014 IIHF World Championships, currently underway in Lappeenranta and Imatra, Finland. Through the four games of the preliminary round, Canada has a 3-0-0-1 record in its pool heading into quarter-final action tomorrow (April 24).
Canada, the tournament’s defending champion, topped Sweden, Germany and Slovakia before dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to Russia en route to the top spot in Group A, while outscoring its opponents 12-7. Through four games, McKeown has one assist and a +3 rating.
The defenceman was part of the 2013 edition of the team that defeated the United States for the gold medal, and was named to Team Canada this year after his Kingston Frontenacs were eliminated from the first round of the OHL playoffs in seven games by the Peterborough Petes.
The blueliner further expanded his international experience during the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last August. McKeown helped lead Canada to another U18 gold medal, once again topping the U.S. in the championship game.
It was also announced in early April that McKeown is a nominee for the OHL’s Defenceman of the Year award. The winner is to be announced towards the conclusion of the OHL playoffs.