3 Stars of the Day

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10

1. Kyle Connor (United States)
Connor scored two goals in four games, and while his first – the seventh American goal in an 8-3 preliminary round win over Russia – didn’t mean much, his second sure did. The U.S. forward snapped a 1-1 tie with just 14 seconds left in the second period of the gold medal game to give his team the lead for good as the Americans won gold for the second year in a row, and fifth time in six years.

2. Nick Schmaltz (United States)
Schmaltz only had one point in the Americans’ gold medal game victory, his lowest output of the tournament, but it was a big one. Not only did Schmaltz help set up Kyle Connor for the game-winner, his assist gave him a tournament-record 12 points, and tied the all-time record for assists in one year, with eight. Not surprisingly, Schmaltz was named tournament MVP and earned a spot on the all-star team.

3. Yegor Korchkov (Russia)
Korchkov was the lone Russian to put his name on the scoresheet in the gold medal game loss to the U.S., scoring on an unassisted effort in the second period. Russia’s offence, which had averaged more than four goals per game in its first four games, stalled against the U.S. with the gold medal on the line, managing just 17 shots, only four in the third period, when it was down by just one goal.


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9

1. Jeff Wight (Canada West)
He called it the biggest moment of his young hockey career. Wight scored the game-winning goal with just 2:19 remaining in the third period of Saturday’s bronze medal game, breaking a 3-3 tie and making sure Canada West will leave Yarmouth with a medal of some colour. Wight’s goal gave the westerners their seven medal in eight tries at the World Junior A Challenge, but its first-ever bronze.

2. Adam Zboril (Czech Republic)
Zboril set up three goals Saturday but saved the biggest one for himself, scoring the game-winner with just over five minutes to go to help the Czechs to just their second win in 12 tries at the World Junior A Challenge, 7-5 over Canada East with fifth place on the line. Zboril’s four points equaled the Czechs’ previous high for goals in a game, set in their lone previous victory, 4-3 over Russia in the 2011 prelims.

3. Marly Quince (Canada East)
The Canada East captain put his team on his back and almost single-handedly led it to a comeback for the ages. Quince scored twice and added an assist, all in the third period, as the Canadians erased a 4-1 deficit to the Czechs, only to fall short in the end. He finished as Canada East’s leading scorer in the tournament, recording five of his six points in the team’s two playoff round games.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8

1. Nick Schmaltz (United States)
Schmaltz is in the process of rewriting the World Junior A Challenge record book; he tied all-time marks for points in a game (five) and points in a tournament (11) when he put up two goals and three assists in Friday’s semifinal win over Switzerland, and sits just one assist back of the tournament record for assists in a year. Sunday could be a record-setting day for Schmaltz and the Americans.

2. Connor Hurley (United States)
Thanks to Schmaltz and his record-tying performance on Friday night, Hurley may have had the quietest four-point game in tournament history. The Buffalo Sabres draft pick (38th overall) scored twice and added two assists to help the U.S. to a fifth gold medal game appearance in six years, and sits just two points behind Schmaltz for the tournament scoring lead, with nine points in three games.

3. Semyon Afanasyevski (Russia)
With the Russians down 2-0 past the midway point of the game and just 26 minutes from a fourth consecutive loss in the semifinals, Afonasyevski got his team on the board, kick-starting a three-goals-in-four minutes burst than gave Russia a lead it would never relinquish. Afonasyevski added an insurance goal in the third period for good measure, helping the Russians to their first gold medal game.


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7

1. Michael Hügli (Switzerland)
The EV Zug forward has likely never scored a bigger goal, netting the overtime winner 3:54 into the extra period to send the Swiss to the semifinals and keep a Canadian team out of the final four for the first time in tournament history. Hügli is the first player to score an OT winner in a quarter-final, and just the second in any medal round game, joining Canada West’s Alex Kerfoot (2011 semifinal vs. Sweden).

2. Maxim Tretiak (Russia)
The Russian goaltender channeled his famous grandfather, Vladislav, on Thursday afternoon, turning aside 41 of the 42 shots to help Russia return to the semifinals at the World Junior A Challenge for the first time since 2009. The one goal Tretiak allowed was suspect – a wrist shot from just inside centre ice – but the 6-foot-3 netminder stopped everything else, earning his second win in as many starts.

3. Marly Quince (Canada East)
One of three returnees from 2012’s fourth-place team on the Canada East roster, Quince did everything he could to get his team back to the semifinals on Thursday night, scoring a pair of goals in the overtime loss to Switzerland – his first two goals of the tournament. The Canadian captain showed why he was selected to wear the ‘C’, leading with his play and driving the net to score both of his goals.  


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6

1. Maxim Mauerhofer (Switzerland)
The Swiss goaltender stood tall (not easy for someone 5-foot-9) time and time again on Wednesday afternoon, turning aside 42 shots in all for the shutout in his tournament debut, leading the Swiss to second place in Group B. Mauerhofer made 14 saves in the first period, 12 in the second and 16 more in the third for the first clean sheet of this year’s World Junior A Challenge.

2. Karson Kuhlman (United States)
Just as he did one night earlier, Kuhlman broke the ice for the U.S. in its win over Canada West on Wednesday, scoring the first two goals to spark the Americans to their second win in 24 hours, first place in Group A and a bye directly to Friday’s semifinals. Kuhlman recorded his second straight two-point performance, and sits tied for fourth in tournament scoring following the preliminary round.

3. Morgan Messenger (Canada East)
The loudest cheer of the night, and of the tournament thus far, went to Messenger, a star forward with the MHL’s Yarmouth Mariners and native of nearby Barrington, who briefly tied the game 2-2 in the third period, blowing the roof off the Mariners Centre. The goal was the first by player competing on home ice since Mark MacMillan scored for Canada West at the 2010 tournament in Penticton, B.C.


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5

1. Nick Schmaltz (United States)
One of the USHL’s highest-rated prospects for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Schmaltz showed why on Tuesday night, racking up four points to help the U.S. rout the Russians. His two goals were polar opposites – he showed his deft touch to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead, dangling a Russian defender before calmly going five-hole, and wired a wrist shot off the underside of the crossbar for the 5-0 goal just minutes later.

2. Connor Hurley (United States)
Just like Schmaltz, Hurley put up four points in the Americans’ tournament-opening win over Russia, scoring once and adding three assists. He was lethal on the power play, totaling three helpers with the man advantage, and seemed to be around the puck all night. Hurley is the highest-drafted player at this year’s World Junior A Challenge, a second-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres last June.

3. Jeff Wight (Canada West)
It’s off to the semifinals for Wight and Co., who pulled away from the Czech Republic in the third period to earn a second win in as many nights. Wight scored the all-important first goal late in the first period, guiding a shot through traffic and giving the Canadians a lead they would never relinquish, and added an assist on Demico Hannoun’s third-period insurance goal for good measure.


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4

1. Dylan Hollman (Canada West)
The Spruce Grove Saints forward was everywhere in the first period of Canada’s West’s tournament-opening victory over Switzerland, scoring twice and adding an assist, all on the power play. Hollman, Spruce Grove teammate Cameron Hughes and fellow AJHLer Nicholas Jones combined for six points in the opening 20 minutes as Canada West beat the Swiss for the first time in three tries.

2. Kirill Pilipenko (Russia)
The Russians spread around the scoring in their victory over Canada East, getting goals from six different players and points from 10, but Pilipenko was an offensive catalyst, helping set up Ilya Dervuk’s goal late in the first period before hammering home the tying goal seven minutes into the second, shifting the momentum towards Russia en route to a convincing win.

3. Alex Gillies (Canada West)
Gillies has scored 16 times in 16 games with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to start the BCHL season, and picked an opportune time for his first with Canada West, driving to the net, banging home a Trace Elson rebound and scoring the eventual game-winner just 67 seconds into the third period to bust open a 3-3 tie and help the Canadians earn the first three points in Group B.


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Videos
Photos
2013 WJAC: USA 4 – RUS 1
Nov 10, 2013
Kyle Connor’s winner led the U.S. to its fifth WJAC gold medal.
2013 WJAC: CAN-W 5 – SUI 3
Nov 09, 2013
Jeff Wight got the winner late to help West win the bronze medal.
2013 CJHL: EST 4 – WST 2
Nov 09, 2013
Joel Horodziejczyk made 36 saves to help East win the President’s Cup.
2013 WJAC: USA 7 - SUI 4
Nov 08, 2013
Schmaltz tied a WJAC record with five points in a semifinal win.
2013 WJAC: RUS 5 - CAN-W 2
Nov 08, 2013
Afonasyevski’s two goals led Russia to its first gold medal game berth.
2013 WJAC: SUI 5 - CAN-E 4
Nov 07, 2013
Michael Hügli scored in OT to send the Swiss to the semis.
2013 WJAC: CZE - SUI
Nov 05, 2013
Maxim Mauerhofer made 42 saves to lead the Swiss over the Czechs.
2013 WJAC: CAN-W - CZE
Nov 05, 2013
Canada West 4 – Czech Republic 1
2013 WJAC: CZE 1 - RUS 3
Nov 05, 2013
Russia 3 – Czech Republic 1
2013 WJAC: USA - CAN-E
Nov 05, 2013
United States 4 – Canada East 2
2013 WJAC: USA - RUS
Nov 04, 2013
United States 8 – Russia 3
2013 WJAC: RUS - CAN-E
Nov 04, 2013
Russia 6 – Canada East 2
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