AMERICANS CRASH GOLD MEDAL PARTY, TOP CANADA EAST
CAMROSE, AB – For the first time in the three-year history of the World Junior A Challenge, the gold medal game will not be an all-Canadian affair.
Eleven different players recorded points and goaltender Mike Lee made 23 saves as the United States advanced to Sunday’s championship game (6 p.m. MST) with a 5-1 win over Canada East in Saturday’s first semifinal.
The U.S. has a chance to improve on last year’s bronze medal after defeating the team that had won silver at the previous two WJACs.
Winners 5-3 over Canada East in the preliminary round, the Americans took the lead after just 88 seconds when Josh Balch redirected a shot from Lee Moffie under the pad of Canada East netminder Andrew Hare.
The Canadians tied the score, and returned the favour, six minutes later as Stephen Horyl deftly tipped a David Pratt point shot past Lee to draw the Canadians even, exciting the crowd of 1,525 at the Edgeworth Centre.
But the Americans would strike once more before the period was out, as Matt Donovan blasted a shot from the point past Hare to give the U.S. the lead after 20 minutes.
The American offence picked up steam in the second period, firing 15 shots at Hare, and was rewarded twice.
Josh Birkholz scored the Americans’ third goal when he took a pass from Matt White and snapped a shot past the Canadian goaltender, and David Gerths made it 4-1 when he tried to centre the puck on a U.S. powerplay, only to see it carom back onto his stick, leaving him with a yawning cage into which he scored his third goal of the tournament.
The Canadians failed to mount any sort of a comeback in the final frame, and Donovan rounded out the scoring with just over three minutes to go with his second goal of the game.
The loss means that Canada East will not play in the gold medal game for the first time – it will meet the loser of Saturday’s second semifinal between Canada West and Belarus in Sunday’s bronze medal game (1 p.m. MST).
|Arena||Edgeworth Centre||City, Country||Camrose, Alta.|
|Month / Day / Year||11/08/2008||Time||04:00 PM MT|
|United States (USA)||2||2||1||5|
|Canada East (CAN E)||1||0||0||1|
|United States||30 Mike Lee||On 1/00:00||Off 3/20:00|
|Canada East||31 Andrew Hare||On 1/00:00||Off 3/20:00|
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||Total|
|Player of the Game|
|United States||5 Matt Donovan|
|Canada East||9 Marty O'Grady|