RED DEER, Alta. — Canada’s men’s under-18 team defeated Finland 4-1 to advance to the Hlinka Gretzky Cup final Friday night.
Ethan Gauthier scored the opening goal in the first period, his tournament-leading fifth of the competition.
Calum Ritchie added another for his second in the past two games. Matthew Wood and Denver Barkey scored 19 seconds apart around the halfway mark of the final period to put the game out of reach.
Finland got on the board with only 18 seconds remaining, courtesy of Arttu Alasiurua.
Scott Ratzlaff made 23 saves, conceding his first goal of the tournament in three appearances for the undefeated Canadian team.
In the other semifinal, Sweden defeated Czechia 6-2 to set up another showdown against the Canadian squad. Sweden lost 3-0 to Canada in the final game of the preliminary round on Wednesday.
Canada will seek its first gold medal since 2018 when the two sides meet Saturday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2022
The Canadian Press
Professional Bull Riders Elite Cup Series returns to Red Deer this weekend
From Kacie Albert of PBR Canada
PBR CANADA’S ELITE CUP SERIES RETURNS TO RED DEER, ALBERTA, FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR WITH 2023 SEASON-LAUNCH EVENT FEBRUARY 4
For the second consecutive year, PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Canada’s elite Cup Series, presented by Wrangler, will buck into Red Deer, Alberta, launching the 2023 season for the nation’s premier series on February 4, with the PBR Cross Country Canada Classic, at the Peavey Mart Centrium at Westerner Park.
PBR Canada’s Cup Series regularly features Canada’s best riders alongside some of the league’s top international athletes, squaring off against the rankest bucking bulls from across the nation.
For one night only, fans will witness exhilarating 8-second rides and wrecks throughout the action-packed event as the PBR’s courageous bull-riding athletes face off against their 2,000-pound opponents bred to buck.
The PBR Cross Country Canada Classic will mark the 2023 season launch for the PBR Canada Cup Series, presented by Wrangler.
In June 2022, PBR Canada’s elite Cup Series debuted in Red Deer to launch the premier series’ seventh season. Compliments of a perfect 2-for-2 effort, Jake Gardner (Fort St. John, British Columbia) won the event, surging from unranked to then No. 2 in the race for the 2022 PBR Canada Championship and accompanying $50,000 bonus.
In Round 1, Gardner first went head-to-head against Tickety Boo (Chase Kesler Bucking Bulls) inside the Peavey Mart Centrium, reaching the requisite 8 for 83.5 points, and punching his ticket to the championship round.
As the penultimate man to leave the chutes, the “Prince of the Peace Country” was poised atop Alberta Springs (Vold Rodeo). In true cowboy fashion, Gardner gritted his way to the 8-second whistle, despite almost being upended seconds into the ride, earning an 86.5-point score to clinch the victory.
As the only other rider to go a perfect 2-for-2, Lonnie West (Cadogan, Alberta) was second, collecting 55 national points to overtake the No. 1 rank in the Canadian standings.
Fresh off his event win the night prior on the developmental Touring Pro Division in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, West kept his momentum rolling in Round 1 from Red Deer when he converted aboard Warning Shot (Outlaw Buckers Rodeo Corp.) for 81.5 points. West then remained flawless in the championship round when he covered Hanna Motors Winston Bruce (Skori Bucking Bulls) for 86 points.
Prior to the debut of the PBR Canada Cup Series in Red Deer, the city held two developmental Touring Pro Division events in 2015 and 2016, both won by Garrett Green (Meeting Creek, Alberta).
The bull riding action for PBR Canada Cup Series’ Cross Country Canada Classic, begins at 7:00 p.m. MT on Saturday, February 4, 2023.
Tickets for the event go on sale Friday, November 18 at 10:00 a.m. MT, and start at $20, plus fees, and can be purchased at the Peavey Mart Centrium Box Office, online at TicketsAlberta.com. Charge by phone at (866) 340-4450.
Stay tuned to PBRCanada.com and follow the tour on Facebook (PBR Canada), Twitter (@PBRCanada), and Instagram (@PBRCanada) for the latest event and broadcast schedule, results, news, stats and more.
Canada beats Sweden 4-1 to claim gold in Hlinka Gretkzy Cup
Red Deer – Canada scored early and often and also stayed out of the penalty box en route to a 4-1 victory over Sweden in the gold-medal final of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Tanner Howe, Ethan Gauthier, Calum Ritchie and Brayden Yager scored for the Canadians, who held period leads of 2-1 and 3-1 at the Peavey Mart Centrium on Saturday. Riley Heidt also chipped in with two assists for the champions.
Hugo Pettersson scored for Sweden, who were outshot 36-26. Each team received eight minutes in penalties.
Canada had beaten Sweden 3-0 on Aug. 3.
“Three weeks ago, we put this roster together and I felt right away this was a tight group,” said head coach Stephane Julien. “It’s not easy when you have this much talent, but everyone accepted their role and I’m so happy for them.”
The win is Canada’s first gold medal since 2018, the last time this tournament was held in Canada.
“I’m so happy for this group,” added Julien. “They haven’t had it easy in their careers the last two years with the pandemic, but now they have this, a gold medal and something they are going to remember for the rest of their career.”
Canada advanced to the final with a 4-1 win over Finland, while Sweden defeated Czechia 6-2. Finland beat Czechia 3-1 in Saturday’s bronze-medal final.
The Hlinka Gretzky Cup will shift to Europe in 2023, returning to Breclav and Piestany, Czechia for the first time since 2021.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 6, 2022
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