Harrison Blaisell hugs Ross Armour during a preliminary round game at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge. Blaisdell and Corey Andonovski helped Team Canada West win gold Saturday, topping the United States 5-1. HOCKEY CANADA PHOTO

Chilliwack Chiefs duo helps Team Canada West win gold

A 5-1 victory over the United States finished off a World Junior A Challenge triumph in Nova Scotia.

Chilliwack Chief Corey Andonovski had one of Team Canada West’s goals in a 5-1 gold-medal match win over the United States.

The teams met Saturday morning at the RECC Arena in Truro, Nova Scotia in the final of the 2017 World Junior A Challenge.

The United States, stocked with the best of the best from the USHL, beat Team Canada West 2-1 earlier in the tournament, but the table flipped in the final.

Goaltender Zach Rose (Victoria Grizzlies) was spectacular, turning in a 35 save performance.

He was at his best in the final 40 minutes, making 14 saves in the second period and 12 more in the third to help the Canadians win.

He was named the MVP of the tournament after the game.

Team Canada West spread around the scoring, with five different players netting goals and 10 recording points.

Brendan Budy (Langley Rivermen) sniped the all-important first goal, racing away on a shorthanded breakaway and beating U.S. goaltender Jake Kucharski on the blocker side just 9:06 in.

Angus Crookshank, Budy’s teammate with the Rivermen, doubled the advantage three-and-a-half minutes later, playing give and go with Ethan de Jong (Prince George, BCHL) to send the Canadians to the dressing room up by a pair.

Andonovski gave the westerners a little more breathing room at 12:15 of the middle frame, dancing around a defender before sneaking in a shot to the far side of Kucharski.

His tally chased the goalie from his cage. Kucharski had allowed just a single goal in two games entering the final. He was replaced by Ryan Bischel after giving up three on 12 shots in 32 minutes of work.

Jake Drury gave the Americans life with a power play goal late in the second period, chipping a rebound over Rose. Sam Hentges was inches away from pulling the U.S. within one, but his shot rang off the crossbar in the dying seconds to keep it a 3-1 game after 40 minutes.

Any U.S. momentum disappeared early in the third.

Crookshank set up Ross Armour (Trail) for his fourth goal of the tournament at 6:36, and Carter Turnbull (Powell River) forced a turnover deep in the American zone before feeding Dylan Holloway (Okotoks, AJHL) for the fifth and final Canadian marker just 32 seconds later.

This is the fifth gold for Team Canada West – joining 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2015 – and the first time in four tries it has toppled the Americans in the final.

Team Canada West became just the second team in the 12-year history of the World Junior A Challenge to win gold after losing both of its preliminary-round games, joining the 2011 edition of Team Canada West.

Andonovski finished the tournament with one goal and two penalty minutes in five games.

Blaisdell was held off the scoresheet in the final and finished the tourney with one goal and two penalty minutes in four games.

See hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/national-championships/men/world-junior-a/2017

Just Posted

Reports of rashes prompt pool closures at Harrison Hot Springs

Public pool available after all five mineral pools closed until further notice

Oil pipeline company offers cash to expand under two Chilliwack school yards

District offered $136,500 to widen from 18 to 42 metres through Vedder middle and Watson elementary

Chilliwack’s Chief Ernie Crey a firm pipeline supporter

Crey lauds NEB focus on marine safety in his role representing Indigenous oversight committee

Sarah Wark’s run just about done at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

With an overall record of 5-5, Wark’s Team B.C. won’t be qualifying for Saturday’s playoff round.

Chilliwack’s aquifer again in the spotlight with NEB pipeline approval

Concerns from WaterWealth Project and Coun. Jason Lum, but mayor says it’s time to ‘move forward’

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

Most Read