LANGLEY, B.C. – After posting semifinal wins on Friday, Canada East and Canada West will meet in the gold medal game at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge on Sunday night. The game can be seen live on TSN2, beginning at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET; visit www.tsn2.ca to find out how you can see the game in your area.
It is the first time since the 2007 World Junior A Challenge in Trail, B.C., that the two Canadian entries will meet for the gold medal. East and West have met twice before in the final, with Canada West winning both times – 2006 in Yorkton, Sask., and 2007.
Canada East beat the United States 4-2 in the early semifinal in a rematch of last year’s gold medal game, while Canada West topped Sweden 2-1 in overtime in the late game.
Canada West is looking for its third gold medal, having won the tournament in 20. It also lost the gold medal game to the United States in 2008 in Camrose, Alta., and 2009 in Summerside, P.E.I. Canada East has never won the gold medal, and will appear in the gold medal game for the second year in a row, and fourth time overall. In addition to its 20 losses, Canada East dropped last year’s final to the U.S. in Penticton, B.C.
In Friday’s early semifinal, Canada East got two highlight-reel goals from Devin Shore (Ajax, Ont./Whitby, OJHL) and a goal and assist from Tylor Spink (Williamstown, Ont./Cornwall, CCHL) to end the Americans’ three-year reign as World Junior A Challenge gold medallists. Patrick Megannety (Oakville, Ont./Georgetown, OJHL) also scored for Canada East, which beat the U.S. for the first time in regulation in seven all-time meetings at the tournament.
In the late game, Alex Kerfoot (West Vancouver, B.C./Coquitlam, BCHL) scored 2:09 into overtime to send Canada West back to the gold medal game after a one-year absence. Kerfoot outraced a Swedish defenceman and squeezed a shot off the post and in past goaltender Oscar Dansk to end the first overtime semifinal in tournament history. Aaron Hadley (Castlegar, B.C./Vernon, BCHL) scored the other goal for Canada West, which avenged a 2-0 loss to the Swedes in the preliminary round.
Canada West and the United States advanced to Friday’s semifinals after winning quarter-finals on Thursday. Canada West beat the Czech Republic 4-1, while the U.S. knocked off Russia 6-3.
Sweden and the United States will meet for the bronze medal on Saturday night (7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET), while Russia and the Czech Republic will play in the fifth-place game on Saturday afternoon (noon PT/3 p.m. ET).
In addition, a pair of CJHL Prospects Games will be held Saturday (4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET) and Sunday (noon PT/3 p.m. ET). The two-game total goal series between Team East and Team West features the top 40 NHL draft-eligible players from Canada’s 10 Junior A leagues and will be a unique opportunity to give CJHL prospects an unprecedented audience of scouts from across North America. Player selection is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.
The bronze medal game, fifth-place game and both CJHL Prospects Games can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com. Fans can watch all the action for free by following three steps:
STEP 1: Visit hockeycanada.fasthockey.com and sign up for a free FASTHockey account.
STEP 2: Like the World Junior A Challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wjrac.
STEP 3: Just prior to the game, click the HC on FASTHockey link on the WJAC Facebook page to watch.
Jason La Rose, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of content services, and Keegan Goodrich, coordinator of media relations, will be on-site during the 2011 World Junior A Challenge for any tournament information or media requests. Jason can be reached at (403) 703-8791, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keegan can be reached at (403) 519-5754 or at email@example.com.