By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the World Under-17 Challenge
The stage has been set. Three teams from Canada will play on Thursday for their right to move on to the semifinals in the 2018 World Under-17 Challenge.
As of late Tuesday evening, the preliminary round of the U-17 Challenge had been completed. Each of the three Canadian teams finished the day with a victory, in preparation for the upcoming games that truly matter. Winnipeg's Seth Jarvis scored the 4-3 overtime winner for Canada Red over Finland on the same day that Canada Black beat out the United States 5-4, and Canada White dismantled the Czech Republic 5-1 in New Brunswick.
With each of the eight teams involved in the tournament now having played its three round robin matchups, the quarterfinals have been set. Canada White finished off its round robin play with eight points, sitting alone atop the standings, with Canada Black and Russia not far behind. Canada Red finished in a three-way tie with Sweden and Finland in Group B with four points.
Representing Manitoba is Brandon's Daemon Hunt. The Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman is currently playing with Canada Black. Seth Jarvis of the Portland Winterhawks is serving Canada Red, alongside Brandon Wheat Kings forward Ridley Greig. Jarvis leads the way for Manitoba scoring with two goals and five points through three preliminary games.
The quarterfinal matchups will be played in both Quispamsis and Saint John on Thursday afternoon/evening. Czech Republic and Russia do battle at the same time as Canada White's contest with Finland in the afternoon. The evening games feature the United States against Canada Red, while Canada Black plays Sweden.