Prior to the opening game of the 2018 World Junior A Championship, it was announced that T.J. Lloyd (Spruce Grove, AJHL) will wear the captain’s ‘C’ for Team Canada West, while Harrison Blaisdell (Chilliwack, BCHL), Dylan Holloway (Okotoks, AJHL) and Alex Newhook (Victoria, BCHL) will serve as alternates.
Ethan Leyh (Langley, BCHL) tied the game for Team West nine minutes in to the third period before Massimo Rizzo (Penticton, BCHL) and Alex Newhook scored in the shootout to seal the win. The game was a goaltending duel from the very start, with Davis and Saville combining for 34 saves through a scoreless – and fast-paced – opening 40 minutes. Goaltender Matthew Davis (Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL) was lights out for West, turning aside 41 shots through OT before stopping six more in the shootout.
“I think more than anything, the guys realized that the tournament is at a different level than even our selection camp was, which they thought was very difficult. So it’s that approach that we were able to utilize this game. We have to be at our very best for every team in this tournament,” Rick Swan, head coach for Team Canada West, discusses his team’s mindset after Team Canada West’s opening-night win.
Team Canada East matches up against Team Canada West at the R.J. Lalonde Arena at 7:00pm on Monday night. West has owned the all-time series, winning seven of eight meetings so far.
For more information on the 2018 World Junior A Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca/WJAC