Canada's highlight on the final day of the Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway was a showdown for gold in men's hockey against arch-rival United States.

Canada won the first meeting 4-2 but the United States prevailed in the game that counted, 5-2, thanks to a couple of empty-net goals.

TJ Walsh of the U.S. had the only goal of the first period at the 8:00 mark.

The Americans doubled their lead on Jack Deboer's power play goal 2:56 into the second period. 

Canada had an apparent goal waved off before Ryan Merkley, from Mississauga, Ont. cut the lead in half at 9:32 of the second period. The U.S. responded almost immediately as Christian Krygier counted less than two minutes later to send his team to the dressing room with a 3-1 lead after two periods.

In the third period, Carson Focht, from Regina, had his close-in shot go over the net. However, Allan McShane, from Collingwood, Ont. closed the gap to 3-2 with his score for Canada at 11:16.

The U.S. drew a slashing penalty with 2:38 remaining and Canada removed goaltender Olivier Rodrigue, who played the third period in relief of Alexis Gravel, when they called a timeout with 1:13 to play.

Tyler Weiss came out of the penalty box to score for the U.S. into an empty net, some 17 seconds after Rodrigue went to the bench. Jake Wise added a second empty-netter to make the final, 5-2.

Howden chosen as Canada's flag-bearer

Reece Howden of Cultus Lake, B.C. led Canada's contingent into the closing ceremony of the Youth Olympics.

The snowboarder won gold in the men's ski cross and was fourth as part of the snowboard cross mixed relay.

"Leading the team into the closing ceremony makes my experience here even more memorable, " said the 17-year-old. "I felt the excitement of major international competition, the pride of standing on the podium and the joy of sharing this amazing experience with other athletes from so many different countries. I feel like this will help me grow as an athlete and a person." 

Below is a look at how Canadians fared in other events Sunday.


Mixed relay

  • Canada, 16th - Tekarra Banser, Kelowna, B.C., Gillian Gowling, Calgary, Leo Grandbois, Lennoxville, Que, and Ben Churchill, Calgary.


Mixed Doubles - semifinal

  • Tyler Tardi (Surrey, B.C.) / Honoka Sasaki, Japan lost 6-3 to Han Yu, China and Ross Whyte, Great Britain.

Mixed Doubles - Bronze medal game

  • Tyler Tardi (Surrey, B.C) / Honoka Sasaki, Japan lost 10-1 to Zhao Ruiyi, China and Andreas Haarstad, Norway. (Canada finished 4th).

Canada finished with seven medals at the Youth Olympics: 3 gold,  2 silver, and 2 bronze.