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Gavin McKenna makes U-17 world tournament all-star team

Yukoner was one of the 44 players who competed for Canada at the tournament
Gavin McKenna is seen in action on the ice at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in P.E.I. (Courtesy/Sarah Lewis Photography)

Yukoner Gavin McKenna has made the U-17 World Hockey Challenge six-player all-star team following the tournament in Prince Edward Island.

McKenna played on the Canada Red team, which ended the tournament in fifth place.

The other Canadian team — Canada White — won the gold medal 2-1 in overtime against the United States at the tournament, which ran from Nov. 2 to 11.

McKenna is 15 years old, a Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in citizen from Whitehorse and a Medicine Hat Tigers forward in the Western Hockey League. He was one of the 44 players who competed for the two Team Canada teams at the competition.

He was the youngest player on Canada Red, scoring five goals and adding three assists throughout the tournament.

McKenna also leads the Tigers in points with 17 (five goals and 12 assists) in all 12 games played thus far in the 2023/2024 season.

Other members of the all-star team from the U-17 tournament include: Émile Guité, Matthew Schaefer and Jack Ivankovic who all played for Canada White as well as Will Moore and Charlie Trethewey from the United States.

Canada White’s Cameron Schmidt scored in overtime for the gold medal win against the United States.

It is Canada White’s first gold medal at the tournament since 2015.

“I kind of just blanked out. I just went to the backhand and it found its way in,” Schmidt was quoted as saying on Hockey Canada’s website. “Obviously this team was thrown together, but building that bond from the start and carrying it to the end of this tournament was a big thing. These are my brothers for life, and it was an amazing experience.”

Canada White head coach John Dean said he is happy with his team. He said the team talked about wanting to get better every game.

“The message to the rest of the group was we’re going to get better every single day,” Dean is quoted as saying on Hockey Canada’s website.

“We went to overtime five times, only won one game in regulation; these guys went into the final game and had experienced everything — blowing leads, comebacks, shootouts, overtime wins, coaches being upset and being happy. They went through it all so I couldn’t ask for a better tournament because they got to experience it all and I think there’s a lot of growth here.”

Sweden won the bronze medal, beating Czech Republic 6-3.

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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