Stecher shines for Canada at worlds

By Don Fennell

Published 3:43 PDT, Thu June 3, 2021

Last Updated: 2:44 PDT, Tue June 22, 2021

Troy Stecher has worn the maple leaf twice before, at the World Hockey Championships in 2019 in Slovakia and in 2011 at the World Junior A Challenge.

But today, at the 2021 World Hockey Championships being played in Riga, Latvia, was his shining moment.

The 27-year-old from Richmond set up Calgary Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane with the winning goal at 2:12 of overtime to lift Canada to a 2-1 upset of the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) in the tournament’s quarter-finals. 

The Detroit Red Wings defenceman, and former Vancouver Canuck, made a spectacular play to get by a defender before passing to Mangiapane for the winning goal.

Canada, which went into the game against the ROC (undefeated in seven round-robin games) with a 3-0-3-1 record, will now play the United States (6-0-1-0 in the round-robin and 6-1 winners over Slovakia today) at 4:15 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday. The final is set for 10:15 a.m. Pacific time on Sunday, following the bronze-medal game at 5:15 a.m. Pacific time.

Stecher’s strong skating is an asset on the large European ice surface which is 200 feet by 100 feet, 15 feet wider than the NHL standard.

“Obviously I’m not going to be able to physically push guys over, so my quickness and speed has to be one of my strengths,” he told the Richmond Sentinel in 2017. 

Today, it clearly showed.

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