Thursday’s all-Canadian semifinal at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge marks the seventh time in 10 tournaments that Canada East and Canada West will meet.
Here’s how the first six meetings played out:
2006 GOLD MEDAL GAME – CANADA WEST 4, CANADA EAST 3
YORKTON, Sask. – Jordie Johnston scored the first two goals as Canada West jumped out to a 4-0 lead midway
through the game before holding off a late Canada East push and earning a victory to win the first World
Junior A Challenge gold medal.
The Canadian entries were the class of the inaugural tournament, both going unbeaten in the preliminary
round and earning semifinal wins to set up the all-Canadian final.
Tyler McNeely and Casey Pierro-Zabotel had the other goals for Canada West, while Kyle Turris and Evan
Oberg added two assists each. Turris’ two helpers capped off an 11-point tournament and earned the future
first-round NHL pick MVP honours.
David Kostuch scored twice and Jeff Terminesi added one for Canada East, which pulled to within a goal
with 4:06 to go, but could not complete the monumental comeback.
2007 GOLD MEDAL GAME – CANADA WEST 4, CANADA EAST 1
TRAIL, B.C. – It was a pair of future NHL draft picks that led the way for Canada West as it won its
second consecutive World Junior A Challenge gold medal, beating Canada East.
The teams took a different route to the gold medal game than they had one year earlier; both lost
preliminary round games – Canada West to Russia, Canada East to the United States – and were forced to take
the long way to the final, through the quarter-finals.
Zac Dalpe, a second-round pick of Carolina in 2008, was the offensive star for Canada West, scoring a hat
trick, including two on the power play, while Joe Colborne, the 16th player selected by Boston in the 2008
draft, scored the other goal.
Corey Trivino had the lone goal for Canada East, opening the scoring less than seven minutes in, but that
would be the lone puck to beat Canada West goaltender Bradley Eidsness.
2009 SEMIFINAL – CANADA WEST 9, CANADA EAST 1
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – Cody Kunyk scored a hat trick and added an assist as Canada West equaled the largest
margin of victory in World Junior A Challenge history with a semifinal romp over Canada East.
The line of Kunyk alongside twins Connor and Kellen Jones combined for 11 points in the victory – in
addition to Kunyk’s four points, Connor Jones tied a tournament record with five points (two goals, three
assists) and Kellen Jones chipped in with a goal and an assist.
Mathew Bodie, Cam Reid and Daniel Carr also scored for Canada West, which scored the game’s final eight
goals, including five in the second period, when Connor Jones set a record with four points.
Jeff Vanderlugt had the goal for Canada East, tying the game 1-1 late in the first period, although the
tie lasted only 46 seconds before Kunyk’s first goal gave Canada West the lead for good.
2011 GOLD MEDAL GAME – CANADA WEST 4, CANADA EAST 2
LANGLEY, B.C. – Tournament all-star Alex Kerfoot had a goal and an assist to give Canada West the lead and
Carson Cooper tipped in the game-winner early in the third period as the westerners won their third World
Junior A Challenge gold medal with a victory over Canada East.
Evan Richardson and Aaron Hadley scored the other goals for Canada West, which joined the United States as
the only three-time gold medallists in tournament history.
Michael Neville and Daniel Milne had the goals for Canada East, which was left with the silver medal for
the fourth time in six World Junior A Challenges, with three of those at the hands of Canada West.
The two teams combined for just one penalty – a slashing minor against Canada East’s Tyson Spink that led
to Cooper’s winning goal – setting a pair of tournament records: fewest penalty minutes by one team (0, by
Canada West) and fewest combined penalty minutes by both teams (two).
2012 SEMIFINAL – CANADA WEST 1, CANADA EAST 0
YARMOUTH, N.S. – Jonah Imoo made 17 saves for the shutout, his second of the tournament, as Canada West advanced to the
gold medal game at the World Junior A Challenge with a win over Canada East.
Seb Lloyd scored the game’s only goal, tipping in a James de Haas point shot just over three minutes into the second period, and Imoo made it stand up, becoming the first goaltender in tournament history to record multiple shutouts in one year.
Charlie Finn took the loss in the Canada East goal, stopping 24 of the 25 shots he faced.
It was only the second 1-0 game in tournament history - Sweden blanked the United States by the same score in the tournament-opening game in 2011 - and the first shutout loss ever for Canada East.
2014 QUARTER-FINAL – CANADA EAST 4, CANADA WEST 2
KINDERSLEY, Sask. – Blade Mann-Dixon was the story, making 38 saves - including 16 in the first period and 13 in the third with his team holding a one-goal lead - to help Canada East past Canada West
and into the semifinals at the World Junior A Challenge.
It marked the first time in six all-time meetings that Canada East had beaten its cross-country rivals; the easterners had been outscored 20-9 in the first five match-ups, three of which had been gold medal games.
Abbott Girduckis scored twice for Canada East, while Ryan Kuffner and Alex Tonge added a goal apiece.
Rhett Gardner and Dante Fabbro had goals for Canada West, which was shut out of the semifinals for the first time in nine tournaments; it had only twice failed to reach the gold medal game (in 2010 and 2013).