Canada West 4 – Czech Republic 1
LOIK SCORES TWICE TO LEAD CANADA WEST TO SEMIFINAL BERTH
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.