PENTICTON, B.C. – For the third year in a row, the United States has won the World Junior A Challenge, defeating Canada East 6-4 in Sunday’s gold medal game at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The U.S. is the first team to win three gold medals in a row, and defeated a Canadian team in the final for the third-straight year. The Americans beat Canada West in each of the last two years, winning 7-1 in Camrose, Alta. in 2008 and 2-1 last year in Summerside, P.E.I.
Jimmy Mullin scored the game-winning goal, his tournament-leading sixth, with 3:53 to go to complete the American comeback from a 4-1 second-period deficit. Austin Czarnik had two goals to pace the U.S. offence, while Scott Wilson (Oakville, Ont./Georgetown, OJHL) scored a pair for the Canadians, who won silver for the third time in five appearances – they also lost gold medal games to Canada West in 2006 and 2007.
Jordan Ruby (Tavistock, Ont./Wellington, OJHL) was terrific in the Canada East net, making 40 saves, while his American counterpart, Casey DeSmith, stopped all eight shots he faced in relief of starter Zane Gothberg. It was DeSmith’s first appearance of the tournament.
Earlier Sunday, Switzerland won the bronze medal with an 8-3 victory over Canada West. Gregory Hofmann had a pair of goals for the Swiss, who scored six times in 12 minutes in the third period to help win a medal in their tournament debut.
Following Sunday’s gold medal game, the UnderArmour ® Undeniable MVP award and tournament all-star team were announced:
UnderArmour ® Undeniable MVP: Scott Mayfield (United States)
Tournament All-Star Team:
Goaltender: Jordan Ruby (Canada East)
Defence: Scott Mayfield (United States)
Defence: Tyson Wilson (Canada East)
Forward: Mikhail Grigorenko (Russia)
Forward: Jimmy Mullin (United States)
Forward: Evan Rodrigues (Canada East)
Canadian players and staff will be returning to their respective club teams on Monday, November 15.