In October, three Flint Firebirds were selected by Hockey Canada to represent their nation at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Nov. 5-11 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. Firebirds’ Head Coach Ryan Oulahen was tabbed to lead one of three Canadian squads while forward Ethan Keppen and goaltender Luke Cavallin were among the 23 OHL players included in the announced rosters.
The three missed the last five Firebirds’ OHL games over the past few weeks but excelled on the international level. Firebirds’ rookie goaltender Luke Cavallin, Flint’s second-round pick in the 2017 OHL Draft in April, started the tournament with a 3-1 record, heading into the Gold Medal game. With the U.S. eventually pulling out the victory, Cavallin still returns to Flint with hardware, as he backstopped Team Canada Red to the Silver Medal. He played five games, which was the most of any goaltender and had the sixth best statistics with a 3.01 goals against average (GAA) and a .904 save percentage (SAV%). Cavallin was eventually selected as one of six players named to the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge all-star team.
Firebirds’ Head Coach Ryan Oulahen led Team Canada White to the semi-finals, after upsetting Finland 5-1 in the quarter-finals on Thursday, Nov. 9. Despite not advancing to the Gold Medal game, Oulahen and Canada White posted a 2-3-1-0 record through six games. Also with Canada White, Firebirds’ rookie forward Ethan Keppen, Flint’s first-round selection in the 2017 OHL Draft, earned an impressive four points in six games, totaling one goal, three assists and six penalty minutes in that time.
Additionally, Firebirds’ Vice President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Barclay Branch is a regional scout in the Ontario-area for Hockey Canada and was among the staff during the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Branch, Cavallin, Keppen and Oulahen have arrived back in Flint and will return back to action at the Firebirds’ next home game this Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. against the Sarnia Sting.
Along with Team Canada Black, Red and White, other nation’s that competed in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge were Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.
Photo Credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images
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