Okanagan Hockey Academy alum Beck Malenstyn and Team Canada Black got in the win column in their final preliminary round matchup as they edged Team Finland 4-3 on Tuesday night at the World Under-17 Challenge in Sarnia, Ontario.
Malenstyn made his presence felt on the penalty-kill paired with Brandon Saigeon, as the duo helped shutdown the dangerous Finland power-play, which ended up going 0-for-6 on the night.
The teams traded goals in the first period before Canada Black was able to find the back of the net twice in a 1:54 span late in the middle stanza to take a 3-1 lead into the locker room. Canada Black got an insurance marker with 5:51 left on the clock to make it 4-1 before Finland, which entered the game undefeated, tallied two late goals to make it a 4-3 final.
Despite the win, Canada Black finishes fourth in their pool, just one point back of first place Finland. After a day off on Wednesday, they will face-off against the United States in the quarterfinals on Thursday (12:00pm). You can watch the game live and for free on the Hockey Canada website.
The United States cruised through the preliminary round, defeating Sweden 6-3, Slovakia 7-1 and Canada Red 7-3.
Malenstyn, 16, spent three seasons with OHA, most recently during the 2013-14 season when he netted 59 points (33-26-59) in 45 games for the OHA Prep team, which captured the CSSHL Prep Division Championship.
The 6-foot, 175-pounder has scored two goals in 11 games so far this season with the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Calgary Hitmen, the team that drafted him in the first round, 18th overall, at the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.Photos courtesy of Andrea Klipp
At the end of grade nine, my parents and I decided it would be beneficial for both my hockey and scholastic development to attend OHA the next year. We toured other hockey academies, but ultimately felt OHA was the best fit for me. The coach’s and trainer’s expertise allowed me to learn more about the game, further develop my skills, strength and stamina and readied me to enter the WHL as a competent and confident 16 year old. With the support of great teachers and tutors my grades improved and I made friends that will last a lifetime. I highly recommend OHA for the player who is looking to take their game, grades and life skills to the next level."