Close but not cigar for Pacific

Kamloops Daily News
January 3, 2013 01:00 AM

Team Pacific worked too much overtime at the under-17 World Hockey Challenge in Quebec this week.
Pacific, featuring Joe Hicketts and Ryan Gropp of Kamloops, beat Team West 4-3 in overtime in Victoriaville on Wednesday. The result means Pacific finished third in its pool, and is to play Ontario for fifth place Thursday.

Pacific won three of its four round-robin games, but all three victories were in overtime. Because teams that win in overtime get only two points (teams winning in regulation get three), Russia, which went 2-1-1, finished a point ahead of Pacific.

Russia will take on the U.S. in a semifinal today. Sweden and Quebec will play in the other semifinal.

The tournament's championship game is scheduled for Friday.

Pacific went into Wednesday's game knowing it needed to win in regulation to get into the semifinals. West's Reid Gardiner broke Pacific's heart, scoring to force overtime with 3:01 remaining.

Pacific's Brandon Hickey, on an assist from Hicketts, scored 45 seconds into overtime.

Hicketts, a defenceman for the WHL's Victoria Royals, ended the round-robin with a goal and two assists. Kamloops' Ryan Gropp, a forward for the BCHL's Penticton Vees, had a goal and an assist in the round-robin.

Forward Carson Bolduc, a Salmon Arm native who played for the Jardine's Blazers in 2010-11, is pointless so far for Pacific. Jordan Thomson, a defenceman for the Kamloops Blazers, helped West to a 0-3-1 record.

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