Winnipeg’s Madison Bowey scored one of Team Canada’s goals as the Canadians ended a four-year slump, beating the United States 3-2 on Sunday to win the World Under-18 men’s hockey championship in Sochi, Russia.
Frederik Gauthier’s second-period goal stood up as the winner for Canada while Bowey, the talented 6-foot-1, 194-pound defenseman with the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets, scored Canada’s second goal — the tying goal — of the game.
Laurent Dauphin, who scored Canada’s opening goal, started the game-tying play as he carried the puck down the left wing and then swept down behind the goal-line. He then stopped and started skating toward the net.
Dauphin centred the puck to Bowey, who was skating in from the slot, but USA goalie Thatcher Demko stopped the first shot. Bowey, however, skated right toward the net and took a couple of whacks at the rebound before pushing it across the goal-line.
That made the score 2-2 and before the second period ended Gauthier scored the eventual winner.
“The day after losing out to Kamloops I got the call from Hockey Canada to join the U18 team in Russia,” Bowey wrote in a recent blog post. “I was honoured and very excited after I got the call. In this case, I had to take the good with the bad, losing out of the playoffs was devastating but representing your country is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Philippe Desrosiers stopped 33 shots in Canada’s net for the win as the Unuted States outshot Canada 35-12. One of Canada’s backup goalies was Austin Lotz of St. Adolphe, Man., a young goalie who has been working closely with goaltending instructor Gordie Tumilson a former member of the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets.
“Phillippe was awesome,” said Team Canada assistant coach Jody Hull. “He was awesome early when they were coming at us, I think at one point it was 6-0 or 7-0 on shots on net. He was very solid and calming influence back there for us. He gave us the opportunity to get the big victory today.”
Although he was kept off the scoresheet in the final, Canada’s Connor McDavid from Newmarket, Ont., was named the tournament’s most valuable player after leading all scorers with 14 points. The gold medal game was held at the Bolshoy Ice Dome where the men’s and women’s hockey tournaments will be held at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Bowey is an outstanding young player who is ranked in the Top 30 for the 2013 National Hockey League draft. A two-sport star growing up in Winnipeg, Bowey is also a tremendous baseball player who can play catcher and in centrefield but is also an incredible young pitcher.
“I love pitching because the game relies on you,” Bowey once told the Hockey News. “When it comes down to it, you win or lose on pitching, so you have to stay focused out there.”
A great skater, he is also a big, strong defenseman who is in his third season in the Western Hockey League.
“I like his size. I like how hard he works,” said Edmonton Oilers scout Stu McGregor. “I think everyone can become a better skater. When he keeps his game within himself and doesn’t do too much….the best way to impress the coach is to be real simple, real good and make smart sharp plays.”