(ST. CATHARINES, ON) - U SPORTS - Alberta Golden Bears forward Luke Philp scored early in the first period, and the U SPORTS All-Stars shut out Team Canada’s junior team prospects 3-0 on Wednesday, in a tight opening game of the 2017 U SPORTS All-Star series.
“The goal coming into this was to put together a team that could compete and skate and play with pace,” said U SPORTS head coach Brad Peddle, who was an assistant with last year’s squad and serves as the bench boss of the St FX X-Men. “Our guys dug in and weathered the storm and did what it takes to win a real tight game, doing things that you see guys do in the playoffs typically. You could tell they wanted to win.”
Philp opened the scoring with a power-play goal just 2:44 in, snapping a wrist shot past Vancouver Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro for a 1-0 lead.
“We had a little room (on the man advantage),” said Philp of the team’s quick start. “The puck hit me there and I tried to get it off quick and it went in. It was good plays by and it was nice to get the first one off early.”
The one-goal lead held up throughout the contest, before St FX’s Michael Clarke and Saskatchewan’s Logan McVeigh added a pair of empty-netters in the final 1:15 to seal the victory.
Team Canada’s Colton Point and returning player Carter Hart combined for 32 saves in the U SPORTS net, recording the first shutout by U SPORTS competition in 32 meetings against Team Canada since 1988. The win was also the first in regulation for the U SPORTS side since the switch to the national all-star team format in 2015, when they came away with a 5-4 shootout victory in Toronto.
“It’s a great step,” added Peddle. ”We have to recognize that they’re going to be very good again tomorrow(Thursday). For us right now, the guys can enjoy the win for a little bit, but then it’s time to get some rest and go again.”
The two teams will meet again on Thursday to wrap up the U SPORTS All-Star Series, with puck drop set for 5:00pm Atlantic.