Sunday, 27 April 2014

Hicketts Wins Bronze at U18

Hicketts, 3rd from Right
Victoria Royals defenseman Joe Hicketts won Bronze for Team Canada at the world under-18 hockey championship after defeating Sweden 3-1 Sunday in Finland.

“It’s not the medal we came here for, being Canadian we wanted the Gold.  Anytime you win your last game, and do earn a medal, it’s something special.” – Joe Hicketts

Canada, who won gold at this tournament last year were relegated to the Bronze medal showdown after falling 4-3 in overtime to the Czech Republic on Saturday. 

Hicketts scored his lone goal of the tournament in that game.

“Not only in my career, I thought that was a really big goal in the game,”
said Hicketts on bringing Canada to within one, 3-2 on Saturday,

“We generated some momentum off that goal, and starting rolling from there.  It’s a shame we couldn’t carry that into overtime - I think we just ran out of gas there.  Definitely one of the bigger goals of my career.”

The 17year old Hicketts ended the tournament with a goal and assist (2pts) in 7 games.
(AP Photo/Martti Kainulainen, Lehtikuva)

        [Future Considerations] (August 2013)

Hicketts is a dynamic offensive defenseman who shows great poise from the point. His skating and smarts help make up for team lapses on the ice while his shot and passing skills make him lethal in the offensive end.

The tournament also had the eyes of many NHL scouts, and bettered the unrated Hicketts chances of being selected higher after missing a large portion of the Royals season.

“I hope so, I thought I played well…this tournament gave the scouts a little more (time) to look at me.  Moving forward it can’t hurt, I’m going to be looking forward to draft day but if it doesn’t work out, that’s just another step in the process.  I’m going to keep working hard and I know that.”

Now, the long flight home after a lot of hockey which followed the Royals intense post season.

“Everyone’s happy, and excited.  It’s not the color we wanted, but anytime you win your last game, before a long flight…I think our mood is going to be very good.”

It is Canada’s third straight medal at the world championship; it won bronze in 2012 and gold in 2013. It is also Canada’s sixth medal all-time at the IIHF Ice Hockey World U18 Championship, having won three gold medals (2003, 2008, 2013), one silver (2005) and two bronze (2012, 2014).

On Sunday, Lawson Crouse (Mt. Brydes, Ont./Kingston, OHL) scored the game-winning goal – his first point of the tournament – midway through the second period. Brendan Perlini (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont./Niagara, OHL) and Travis Konecny (Clachan, Ont./Ottawa, OHL) also had goals for the Canadians, while Mason McDonald (Halifax, N.S./Charlottetown, QMJHL) made 38 saves for the win.

Following the tournament, McDonald was named Top Goaltender by the IIHF directorate, while Haydn Fleury (Carlyle, Sask./Red Deer, WHL) earned Top Defenceman honours.

The United States defeated the Czech Republic 5-2 in the gold medal game.
  --Marlon Martens