Salmon Arm Silverbacks blueliner Mitch Chapman and his Team Pacific teammates are already assured a spot in the semi-finals at the World Under-17 Challenge in Port Alberni. Their matchup on Friday versus a formidable Ontario squad will determine their next opponent.
On Thursday, Troy Rutkowski's goal 1:46 into overtime capped a third-period comeback and earned Pacific a hard-fought 4-3 win over Atlantic in an all-Canadian battle at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. The win sets up the match-up against Ontario with first place in Group A on the line.
Brendan Ranford and Alex Theriau scored 93 seconds apart early in the third period to erase a 3-1 Atlantic lead and eventually force the extra period. Brendan Gallagher also scored for Pacific, which will play in Saturday's semifinals, regardless of the outcome of Friday night's game.
The Pacific-Ontario battle for first place is set the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Friday night (7 p.m. PST).
Chapman, who has tallied one assist through three preliminary round games, is the lone BCHL player suiting up for Team Pacific. He is joined at the tournament by Silverbacks assistant coach Matt Hughes, who is serving as Pacific`s video coach.
Regardless of the outcome Friday, Chapman and his teammates will face off against either Team West or the United States on Saturday with a trip to Sunday`s gold-medal game on the line.