YARMOUTH, N.S. – After posting semifinal wins on Friday, Canada West and the United States will meet in the gold medal game at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge on Sunday night. The game can be seen live on TSN2, beginning at 7:30 p.m. AT/3:30 p.m. PT.
It is the first time since the 2009 World Junior A Challenge in Summerside, P.E.I., that the Canadians and Americans will meet for the gold medal. The U.S. has won both gold medal game match-ups against Canada West – 2008 in Camrose, Alta., and 2009.
Canada West beat Canada East 1-0 in the late semifinal in a rematch of last year’s gold medal game, while the United States topped Switzerland 7-4 in the early game on Friday.
Both teams are looking for their fourth gold medal; Canada West won the tournament in 2006, 20, while the Americans were gold medallists in 2008, 20. They are the only teams to win gold in the history of the World Junior A Challenge.
In Friday’s late semifinal, Jonah Imoo (Surrey, B.C./Powell River, BCHL) made 17 saves for his second shutout of the tournament, becoming the first goaltender to record multiple shutouts in one year, and Seb Lloyd (Prince George, B.C./West Kelowna, BCHL) tipped in a James de Haas (Mississauga, Ont./Penticton, BCHL) shot for the game’s only goal to lead Canada West to its sixth gold medal game. It’s the fifth time in as many all-time meetings that Canada West has beaten its eastern rivals.
In the late game, Nicholas Schilkey and captain Vince Hinostroza scored two goals apiece to lead United States to their fourth gold medal game appearance in the last five years. Alex Kile, Ryan Fitzgerald and Blake Heinrich scored the other goals for the U.S., which led 5-0 just over 15 minutes into the game. Schilkey added an assist for a three-point night, while Ian Brady had three assists and Sheldon Dries and Taylor Cammarata chipped in two helpers each.
Canada East and Switzerland advanced to Friday’s semifinals after winning quarter-finals on Thursday. Canada East beat the Czech Republic 4-0, while Switzerland knocked off Russia 4-1.
On Saturday night, Switzerland got 28 saves from goaltender Melvin Nyffeler and goals from six different players to help blank Canada East 6-0 and win the bronze medal. It’s the second time in as many World Junior A Challenge appearances the Swiss have won bronze.
Also Saturday, Russia beat the Czech Republic 4-1 in the fifth-place game, and Sean MacTavish (Edmonton, Alta./Sherwood Park, AJHL) scored twice to lead West to a 5-0 win over East in the first of two CJHL Prospects Games in Digby, N.S.
The second CJHL Prospects Game will be held Sunday afternoon in Yarmouth, preceding the gold medal game. The two-game total goal series between East and West features 40 of the top NHL draft-eligible players from Canada’s 10 Junior A leagues and is 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.
Keegan Goodrich, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of media relations, and Jason La Rose, coordinator of content services, will be on-site during the 2012 World Junior A Challenge for any tournament information or media requests. Keegan can be reached at (403) 519-5754 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jason can be reached at (403) 703-8791, or email@example.com.