Morrissey wins gold; Tippett heading to world event; MacAuley stay red-hot

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Prince Albert Raider defenseman Josh Morrissey won a gold medal with Team Canada at the world under-18 hockey championship in Sochi, Russia, on Sunday. Morrissey helped Canada go undefeated at the event including a 3-2 triumph over the United States in the gold-medal game.

 

Dave Leaderhouse

Herald Staff

Josh Morrissey can add world champion to his growing list of accomplishments.

The Prince Albert Raider defenseman played a significant role in helping Canada capture the world under-18 hockey championship when they defeated the United States 3-2 on Sunday in the gold-medal game played in Sochi, Russia.

Morrissey scored three goals and added four assists in the week-long tournament which saw Canada go undefeated in seven games. For Morrissey it was his third time representing Canada in less than a year as he was with the national under-18 team that won the bronze medal last year and then was part of the gold-medal squad at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in August.

The 18-year-old Morrissey, who is rated 27th on the Central Scouting final rankings leading up to the June 30 NHL Entry Draft, has a chance to add one more accomplishment to his resume when the Western Hockey League passes out its individual awards on Wednesday in Calgary. Morrissey is the Eastern Conference nominee for scholastic player of the year and will go up against Rourke Chartier of the Kelowna Rockets for the Doc Seaman Memorial Award.

Another Prince Albert Raider is up for an individual honour as Leon Draisaitl goes up against Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks for the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the top rookie player.

Morrissey wasn’t the only player with a Prince Albert connection making news over the weekend as several others garnered some of the headlines.

Former Raider and long-time NHL coach Dave Tippett was named as an assistant coach to Lindy Ruff for the Canadian entry at the world hockey championship which starts later this week in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden.

Tippett, who played 721 games in the NHL as a player, just finished his fourth season as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and became available for the national team job when the Coyotes failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators will join Ruff and Tippett on the Team Canada bench.

Also still playing, this time at the Western Canadian level, is Dawson MacAuley, the No. 1 goaltender with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champion Yorkton Terriers.

MacAuley, the co-MVP in the SJHL playoffs, stopped 39 shots in leading the Terriers to a 4-3 victory over the Nanaimo Clippers on Saturday in their opening game of the inaugural Western Canada Cup being held in Nanaimo this week.

The Terriers were to take on the Manitoba Junior Hockey League champion Steinbach Pistons on Sunday before having today off to prepare for Tuesday’s game against the Alberta Junior Hockey League champion Brooks Bandits. Yorkton finishes up the round-robin on Thursday against the British Columbia Junior Hockey League champion Surrey Eagles with the top four teams advancing to the playoff round. Two of those four teams will advance to the Royal Bank Cup which is scheduled to begin May 11 in Summerside, PEI.

Finally, Mark McNeill, the Prince Albert Raiders captain the past two seasons, had his second taste of professional hockey come to a swift conclusion when the Rockford Ice Hogs failed to make the American Hockey League playoffs.

McNeill, who joined the Ice Hogs immediately after the Raiders were eliminated from the WHL playoffs – just as he did last year – played in five games with Rockford, but failed to record a point and was minus-one. McNeill, who has one more year of junior eligibility remaining, is not expected back in Prince Albert for a fifth season as he will try and crack the Chicago Blackhawks’ line-up in the fall and failing that would likely land a full-time spot in Rockford for next year.

 

 

Organizations: Western Hockey League, Prince Albert, NHL Phoenix Coyotes Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Portland Winterhawks Nashville Predators Team Canada Co-MVP Manitoba Junior Hockey League Alberta Junior Hockey League British Columbia Junior Hockey League American Hockey League Raiders Chicago Blackhawks

Geographic location: Western Canada, Sochi, Russia Calgary Helsinki Finland Stockholm Sweden Nanaimo Yorkton Summerside

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