Canada East to Play in WJAC Semi-Final; West in Quarter-Final

Russia 3 – Canada East 2 (SO)

LANGLEY, B.C. – Arseni Khatsei scored the tying goal midway through the second period and recorded the lone goal of the shootout as Russia closed Group B preliminary play at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge with a 3-2 win over Canada East on Wednesday afternoon.

Despite the loss, Canada East claimed first place in the group and with it a bye directly into Friday’s semifinals. The Russians finished third in Group B and will take part in a Thursday quarter-final against a to-be-determined opponent.

The Canadians held a 49-30 advantage in shots on goal through 65 minutes of hockey – including 18-3 in the third period – but were turned away time and time again by Russian netminder Andrei Vasilevski, who was brilliant, making 47 saves in regulation and overtime before stopping David Friedmann (Toronto, Ont./Toronto, OJHL), Devin Shore (Ajax, Ont./Whitby, OJHL) and Tylor Spink (Williamstown, Ont./Cornwall, CCHL) in the shootout.

Ben Hutton (Prescott, Ont./Kemptville, CCHL) and Daniel Leavens (Thornhill, Ont./Newmarket, OJHL) scored power play goals for Canada East, which will meet the winner of the Thursday quarter-final between the Russians and the winner of Wednesday’s late game between Canada West and the United States.

Vyacheslav Osnovin scored the other goal for the Russians, who beat Canada East for just the second time in five all-time meetings.

Canada West 1 – United States 6

LANGLEY, B.C. – Mario Lucia scored twice and added an assist and the U.S. scored four times on special teams to knock off Canada West 6-1 Wednesday night in the final preliminary round game at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge.

The win gives the Americans second place in Group A and sets up a Thursday afternoon quarter-final against Russia (4 p.m. PT), while Canada West will meet the Czech Republic in the day’s other quarter (7:30 p.m. PT).

Lucia set up Sean Kuraly on the power play for the game’s first goal and scored a man-advantage marker of his own late in the opening period as the Americans led 2-0 after one period and 4-0 after two thanks to shorthanded goals from Vince Hinostroza and Alex Broadhurst.

Sam Herr and Lucia, with goals 33 seconds apart, rounded out the scoring in the dying minutes of the third period.

Aaron Hadley (Castlegar, B.C./Vernon, BCHL) ended Canada West’s 108-minute scoring drought with a shorthanded goal midway through the third period, converting a 2-on-1 feed from Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, B.C./Powell River, BCHL) for the Canadian side’s first goal of the tournament.

The five-goal defeat matched Canada West’s second largest all time at the World Junior A Challenge, trailing only a 7-1 loss to the U.S. in the 2008 gold medal game in Camrose, Alta.