For the third time in the tournament’s six-year history, Canada West has won the gold medal at the World Junior A Challenge.
Led by a full contingent of BCHLers, Canada West downed Canada East 4-2 in Sunday’s gold medal game at the Langley Events Centre.
Coquitlam Express forward Alex Kerfoot (West Vancouver) scored once and added an assist for Canada West, while Carson Cooper of the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons scored the game winner on a third period power play.
Powell River King Evan Richardson (Nanaimo) opened the scoring 74 seconds into the second period and Vernon Viper Aaron Hadley (Castlegar) 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 (St. Michael’s, OJHL) and Daniel Milne (St. Michael’s, OJHL) scored the goals for Canada East, which settled for silver for the fourth time in six years.
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.
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 posted a 23-save shutout for the Americans, who have won a medal in each of their five World Junior A Challenge appearances – three gold and two bronze.