KINDERSLEY, Sask. – After posting semifinal wins Thursday, Denmark and the United States will meet in the gold medal game at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge on Saturday afternoon. The game can be seen live on TSN, beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.
It is the sixth time in seven years the U.S. has advanced to the gold medal game; the Americans won gold in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and last year. The Danes are in the final in their first-ever appearance at the tournament.
Denmark beat Russia 5-1 in the early semifinal, while the U.S. topped Canada East 7-1 in the late game.
In Thursday’s first semifinal, Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice to lead the Danes, who beat the Russians for the second time in four days; they earned a 4-2 preliminary round victory on Monday. Matthias Asperup, Nick Olesen and Jeppe Holmberg had the other goals for Denmark. Nikolaj Ehlers and Mikkel Aagaard added two assists each in the win.
In the late game, the Americans got goals from seven different players and points from 12 in their win over Canada East. Tyler Sheehy, Anthony Angello, Thomas Novak, Joe Snively, Kyle Connor, Dylan Gambrell and Brock Boeser all scored goals for the U.S., while Ryan Zuhlsdorf, Christian Wolanin and Dakota Joshua added two assists apiece. The Americans scored five times in the first period to take control, and outshot the Canadians 47-23. Alex Tonge (Kingston, Ont./Kingston, OJHL) had the lone goal for Canada East, and Blade Mann-Dixon (Antigonish, N.S./Valley, MHL) made 40 saves.
Canada East and Russia advanced to Thursday’s semifinals after winning quarter-finals on Wednesday. Canada East beat Canada West 4-2 – its first win in six tries over its Canadian rivals – while Russia knocked off Switzerland 3-2. Denmark and the U.S. finished first in their respective groups in the preliminary round and received byes to the semifinals.
Canada East and Russia will meet Friday night in the bronze medal game (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT), while Canada West and Switzerland will face off in the fifth-place game earlier in the day (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT).
The bronze medal game and fifth-place game can be seen live and free through FASTHockey webcasts at www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac.
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006, more than 200 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 25 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Nikita Filatov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Elias Lindholm, Hampus Lindholm, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Valeri Nichushkin, Dylan Olsen, David Pastrnak, Jordan Schmaltz, Nick Schmaltz, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith, Vladimir Tarasenko, Kyle Turris, Alexander Wennberg, Andrei Vasilevski, Jakub Vrana and Nail Yakupov).
NOTE TO MEDIA: Jason La Rose, Hockey Canada’s manager of content services, is on site in Kindersley, and will be the media contact for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge. He can be reached at [email protected] for any interview requests.
For more information on the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac or follow along via social media at www.facebook.com/wjrac or www.twitter.com/hc_wjac.