He doesn’t have the fictitious Dutch accent, but Ty Dellandrea might love gold right now as much as Goldmember does.
On Sunday afternoon, Dellandrea and his Canadian teammates won gold over Russia in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, storming back from a 3-1 deficit with a thrilling four-goal third period.
Dellandrea, like he had most of the tournament, was tasked with doing a lot of Canada’s heavy lifting in the final game. He logged 15:57 of ice time, some of it on the penalty kill and some of it in the dying minutes as his team closed out the win.
Considering the amount of elbow grease that he had to use over the past two weeks, as well as the tough situation that he’s been stuck in with the OHL’s Flint Firebirds over the past three-and-a-half seasons, his post-game celebration must have felt a little extra special.
Beyond his excellent defensive work, Dellandrea also finished the tournament with three goals and two assists in the seven games, which was good for seventh on the team.
His gold wasn’t the only medal earned by a Dallas Stars prospect in the tournament. Even though they were narrowly edged by Russian in the semifinals, forwards Albin Eriksson and Oskar Back get to add a bronze medal apiece to their trophy cases after Sweden edged rival Finland 3-2. Back played 17:25 in the final match, while Eriksson had 11:01.
Like Dellandrea, the two played most of the tournament in shutdown roles, although they did see a lot of ice together in the semifinal game thanks to the success that they were having in all three zones.
Eriksson, selected 44th overall by the Stars in 2018, had one goal in seven games. Back, picked 75th overall the same year, finished with a tally and a helper.
Sweden quickly goes up 2-0 thanks to Albin Eriksson, just 15 seconds after their first goal! pic.twitter.com/VVyRsfno9I— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 31, 2019
Like I discussed in this article last week, the World Juniors can provide a boost to a prospect’s development, something experienced by players such as Jamie Benn, John Klingberg, and Esa Lindell. Let’s hope that Dellandrea, Eriksson, and Back can ride the high of their success this past week and take their respective games to another level moving forward. At the very least, the event will make great memories that all three can look back on fondly in the future.
It was another positive week for the Texas Stars, skating away with wins in two of three games played. Things started off on the wrong foot after losing 5-4 to the Iowa Wild on Tuesday, but they came back with a 2-1 overtime win over the Chicago Wolves on Thursday, and then a 4-0 shutout against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday.
Penalties doomed the Stars on Tuesday, as Iowa went 4-for-4 on the power play, including the game-winning goal with just 1:12 remaining.
Landon Bow and Josh Melnick were the heroes against Chicago, with the former turning aside 25 of 26 shots and the latter putting home the deciding goal in extra time, his fourth on the year.
It was another goaltending showcase on Saturday, as Jake Oettinger shut down and shut out the Griffins in a 33-save performance. It was the third clean sheet of the season for the rookie netminder, bumping his save percentage on the campaign up to an impressive .914.
Joel L’Esperance just keeps rolling along, with the two-way power forward scoring two goals and an assist in the three games while maintaining his scoring lead on the team. His hard work this year was recognized on Friday when he was invited to the AHL All-Star Game for the second straight year. Joel Kiviranta, who made his NHL debut with Dallas on Friday, sandwiched his call-up with one goal against Iowa and then another against Grand Rapids, which extended his AHL scoring streak to four straight games. Additionally, Tye Felhaber had two helpers, giving him four points over his past four matches.
North American Juniors
Windsor Spitfires center Curtis Douglas had four points in four games, all of them wins for the club. The Spits have moved into first place in the OHL’s West Division, helped in part by Douglas playing a lot of minutes as one of his team’s top two pivots.
Speaking of hot OHL teams, the Kitchener Rangers are tied for the lead in the Midwest Division after going 8-1-1 in their past 10. Riley Damiani had seven points in a four-game week, all of them assists. He continues to lead Kitchener in scoring, with 46 points in 37 contests.
Twenty-year-old Jacob Peterson potted his fourth goal of the season for Frolunda in the SHL, now giving him 11 points in 29 games.
Blueliner Jakob Stenqvist had assists in back to back games with Assat in the Liiga. He’s now up to 15 points in 32 games on the season, which puts him tops among defenders on his team and third overall.
For a full database of the organization’s prospects and their stats, check out the Stars’ “In the System” page on Elite Prospects.