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Canada West Advances to Semi-Final Friday at WJAC

Canada West 4 – Czech Republic 1


LANGLEY, B.C. – Curtis Loik (North Vancouver, B.C./Penticton, BCHL) scored twice, including the game-winning goal midway through the second period, to help Canada West post its first win of the 2011 World Junior A Challenge on Thursday night, beating the Czech Republic 4-1 in quarter-final action.

The victory moves Canada West into Friday’s late semifinal (7:30 p.m. PT) against Sweden, which has been off since blanking the Canadians 2-0 in its final preliminary round game on Tuesday.

Loik got the scoring started for Canada West late in the first period, batting a rebound past Patrik Polivka, and made it 2-0 eight minutes into the second, using quick hands to slip the puck around a poke-checking Polivka.

Luke Juha (Mississauga, Ont./Vernon, BCHL), with Canada West’s first power play goal in 20 opportunities, and Travis St. Denis (Trail, B.C./Penticton, BCHL), on a shorthanded penalty shot in the closing minutes, scored the other Canadian goals, while Sean Maguire (Powell River, B.C./Powell River, BCHL) made 20 saves for the win between the pipes.

Radim Matus scored the lone goal for the Czechs, who will take on Russia in Saturday’s fifth-place game (noon PT) to close out their debut year.