One of the OHL’s rising goaltending stars has been recognized for his fine play in Texas, helping Canada’s National Under-18 Team capture gold for the first time since 2013.
Sarnia Sting netminder Ben Gaudreau was awarded Top Goaltender honours at the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship, a distinction annually handed down by the IIHF Directorate.
Gaudreau backstopped Canada to five of its seven victories in the tournament, posting an event-leading 2.20 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in the process. He turned aside 31 shots in Thursday’s 5-3 gold medal victory over Russia.
“Ben (Gaudreau) and Thomas Milic went head-to-head to see who was going to be number one,” said Canadian head coach Dave Barr following Thursday’s win. “We just picked Gaudreau just because he was a hair better and he ended up playing just fantastic for us.”
Gaudreau joins past OHL company in John Gibson (USA, 2011), Jack Campbell (USA, 2010) and Josh Unice (USA, 2007), a trio that won the award a season prior to suiting up in the Ontario Hockey League. Prior to Gaudreau, the last Canadian recipient was Acadie-Bathurst Titan netminder Mason McDonald, who earned the distinction in 2014.
A native of Corbeil, Ont., Gaudreau joined the Sting as the seventh overall pick of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, playing to a 10-13-1-1 mark with a 4.34 goals-against average and .890 save percentage in his rookie season. He was a ‘B’ rated prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft on NHL Central Scouting’s latest ‘Players to Watch’ list.
— Sarnia Sting (@StingHockey) May 7, 2021