Canada defeats USA to capture gold at U18 IIHF Men’s World Championship

ESPOO, FINLAND — Canada defeated USA 6-4 in the 2024 Under-18 IIHF Men’s World Championship. The game was a story of two halves. The U.S. controlled the first two periods of the game. They outshot Canada by a margin of nearly twenty shots and were up 3-2 through two periods.

Then midway through the third period, Canadian winger Ryder Ritchie and a USA player were tied up in a battle along the boards and USA winger Trevor Connelly came in and threw a hard hit on Ritchie. The hit resulted in a five-minute major and a game misconduct for illegal checking to the head. Canada would go on to score three goals on the ensuing power play and seized back control of the game.

The major penalty by Connelly comes amidst NHL teams intensely scrutinizing him.

Gavin McKenna, the star 2026 draft-eligible forward for Canada, recorded a hat trick and four points leading the team to victory.

The MVP of the tournament as voted by the media was USA forward James Hagens who set the single tournament record for points. He was held pointless in the gold medal game.

Media All-Star Team

G: Carter George (2024)
D: Cole Hutson (2024)
D: Luka Radivojevic (2025)
F: James Hagens (2025)
F: Gavin McKenna (2026)
F: Porter Martone (2025)
MVP: James Hagens (2025)



Scott Wheeler’s U18 worlds standouts and disappointments

Directorate awards

G: Carter George (2024)
D: Cole Hutson (2024)
F: James Hagens (2025)

Required reading

(Photo: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva via AP)

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