Red Deer Rebels Ollie Josephson and Team Canada won the gold medal on Saturday to capture the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
The Canadians defeated Czechia in the gold medal game 3-2 in overtime in Breclav, Czechia to win back-to-back Hlinka Gretzky Cup titles.
After Canada took a 2-1 lead in the second period, the home team tied it 2-2 late in the third to send it to overtime.
Mississauga, Ontario’s Malcolm Spence notched a breakaway goal with seven seconds remaining in the extra frame to put Canada on top.
“I knew it was late in overtime and I knew [the Czechs] were tired because they were keeping a fast pace in overtime. I knew the [Czech defender] was on for quite a bit of time and that I could pick his pocket if I moved my feet, so that is what I did,” Spence said in a media release.
“This is the best moment of my life and nothing will ever beat this. I cannot thank everyone who was involved with this team enough. I am just so happy.”
Josephson, who was drafted by the Rebels fifth overall in the 2021 WHL Prospects draft, contributed three assists for three points in the tournament. In his 2022-23 campaign with the Rebels, he posted 19 points in 63 games.
Saskatoon’s Berkly Catton and Calgary’s Ryder Ritchie were the top two scorers in the tournament with 11 and nine total points in five games.
Catton was also the top goal scorer with eight total followed by Rimouski’s Maxim Massé who recorded five goals.
“[The gold medal game] was an unbelievable experience, and the crowd was unbelievable. Every period was a challenge for us, but we came out and we got the victory. I am so proud of each and every one of our guys,” Catton added.
“It is awesome that we ended up with the gold, but none of this would have been possible without my teammates. The whole tournament was such a great experience.”
Rebels prospect Samuel Drancak was on the losing end as a forward on Team Czechia but throughout the tournament, he added one goal in five games. This summer he signed with the Rebels after he was selected 54th overall in the CHL Import draft.