LANGLEY, B.C. – For the third time in the tournament’s six-year history, Canada West has won the gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge, defeating Canada East 4-2 in Sunday’s gold medal game at the Langley Events Centre.
The win is the third for Canada West over Canada East in the gold medal game – it defeated its eastern rivals 4-3 in the final at the first World Junior A Challenge in Yorkton, Sask., in 2006, and repeated as gold medallist by a 4-1 score one year later in Trail, B.C.
CAlex Kerfoot (West Vancouver, B.C./Coquitlam, BCHL) scored once and added an assist for Canada West, while Carson Cooper (Bow Island, Alta./Fort McMurray, AJHL) scored the game-winning goal on a power play 40 seconds into the third period, just the second goal scored by Canada West on the man advantage in the tournament.
Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, B.C./Powell River, BCHL) opened the scoring 74 seconds into the second period and Aaron Hadley (Castlegar, B.C./Vernon, BCHL) added insurance 2:33 into the third to help Canada West become the first team to ever win gold after going winless in the preliminary round.
Michael Neville (Woodbridge, Ont./St. Michael’s, OJHL) and Daniel Milne (Unionville, Ont./St. Michael’s, OJHL) scored the goals for Canada East, which settled for silver for the fourth time in six years – in addition to losses to Canada West in 20, it also came up short against the United States last year in Penticton, B.C.
On Saturday night, the United States won the bronze medal with a 4-0 victory over Sweden. Austin Cangelosi led the offence with a goal and an assist, while Zane Gothberg made 23 saves for the shutout for the Americans, who have won a medal in each of their five World Junior A Challenge appearances – three gold and two bronze.
Following Sunday’s gold medal game, the World Junior A Challenge MVP award and tournament all-star team were announced:
World Junior A Challenge MVP:
Devin Shore (Canada East)
Tournament All-Star Team:
Goaltender: Sean Maguire (Canada West)
Defence: Ludwig Bystrom (Sweden)
Defence: Kevin Lough (Canada East)
Forward: Alex Kerfoot (Canada West)
Forward: Mario Lucia (United States)
Forward: Devin Shore (Canada East)
Canadian players and staff will be returning to their respective club teams on Monday, November 14.