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Surrey’s Emery wins gold with Americans at World U17 Hockey Challenge in Langley

10-day tournament was a showcase for some of the world’s best 16-year-old hockey players
Surrey-raised E.J. Emery, middle, celebrates Team U.S.A.’s gold medal at the World U17 Hockey Challenge tournament at Langley Events Centre on Saturday (Nov. 12). (Photo: Garrett James/LEC)

With Team U.S.A., Surrey-raised E.J. Emery celebrated a gold-medal performance at the World U17 Hockey Challenge.

The Americans dominated the tournament, going undefeated in seven games played at Langley Events Centre and Sungod Arena in North Delta.

On Saturday night (Nov. 12) the U.S. won the final, 11-3 over Canada’s Team Red in Langley.

The Americans went 6-0 during preliminary-round play, averaging more than seven goals per game and winning every game by multiple goals. Cole Eiserman tied Alexander Ovechkin for the tournament record for goals, with a dozen.

Seven teams played in the 10-day tournament, a showcase for some of the world’s best 16-year-old hockey players.

Emery, a six-foot-three defenseman who played against some former teammates on the three Canadian teams (Red, White and Black), scored a goal against Sweden at Sungod on Nov. 5, and added an assist against Canada Black three nights later.

This fall Emery has been living and training in Plymouth, Michigan with the U.S. national Under-17 team.

Coming “home” to play international games in Langley and Delta was a thrill for the right-shot D-man, whose mother is Canadian and father, American. His hometown is listed as Compton, California, on the website of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, a two-year residency for high-performance players.

Emery moved to Michigan before the start of the current season, after making the American squad last April. Before that, he’d played in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) with academy teams in Burnaby (BWC) and Abbotsford (Yale), after several seasons with Surrey Minor Hockey.

At the World U17s, there were a dozen B.C. players on the three Canadian rosters, including South Surrey-raised pals Jordan Gavin and Tomas Mrsic, Carson Wetsch, Colton Roberts, Lynden Lakovic, Macklin Celebrini, Tij Iginla, Gabriel Guilbault, Jaxsin Vaughan, Miguel Marques, Ollie Josephson and Ryder Ritchie.

On Saturday, Canada Red scored the tournament’s silver medal on two goals by Porter Martone and one from Nathan Villeneuve. During the championship game, the Canadian squad briefly got to within two goals midway through the second period before the Americans pulled away for their sixth U17 gold medal.

“We liked the way we started the game; we were playing well. Their goalie made some big saves when we had a power play early on,” said Canada Red head coach Greg Walters. “We thought we were playing a really good hockey game. We made one bad turnover and then the game kind of spiraled away from us.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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