TRURO, N.S. – Zach Rose was spectacular in a 35-save performance, Angus Crookshank scored the game-winning goal and added an assist, as Canada West beat the United States 5-1 on Saturday to win the gold medal at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge.
It is the fifth gold for West – joining 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2015 – and the first time in four tries it has topped the Americans in the final.
Rose – named tournament MVP following the game – was at his best in the final 40 minutes, making 14 saves in the second period and 12 more in the third to help the Canadians to the top of the podium.
Rose, an 18 year old from Paradise, Newfoundland, is the youngest goaltender in the BCHL (Victoria, Grizzlies), arriving by way of Lake Forest Academy prep school, in the Chicago area.
West spread around the scoring, with five different players scoring goals and 10 recording points.
Brendan Budy netted the all-important first goal, racing away on a shorthanded breakaway and beating U.S. goaltender Jake Kucharski on the blocker side just 9:06 in.
Crookshank, Budy’s teammate with the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen, doubled the advantage three-and-a-half minutes later, playing give and go with his former BWC Academy teammate, Ethan de Jong, to send the Canadians to the dressing room up by a pair.
The Americans poured on the pressure in the second period, outshooting West 15-6, but Rose was up to the task with one of his best periods of the tournament.
Corey Andonovsk, an Uxbridge, Ontario native, now playing for the Chilliwack Chiefs, gave the westerners a little more breathing room at 12:15 of the middle frame, dancing around a defender before sneaking in a shot to the far side of Kucharski.
That would be all for the U.S. netminder, who had allowed just a single goal in two games entering the final. He was replaced by Ryan Bischel after giving up three on 12 shots in 32 minutes of work.
Jake Drury gave the Americans life with a power play goal late in the second period, chipping a rebound over Rose. Sam Hentges was inches away from pulling the U.S. within one, but his shot rang off the crossbar in the dying seconds to keep it a 3-1 game after 40 minutes.
Any U.S. momentum disappeared early in the third. Crookshank set up Ross Armour (a Trail native, playing for the Smokies) for his fourth goal of the tournament at 6:36.
Thirty-two seconds later Team Captain Carter Turnbull (Nanaimo, playing for Powell River) forced a turnover deep in the American zone before feeding Dylan Holloway (Bragg Creek, Okotoks) for the fifth and final Canadian marker.
West became just the second team in the 12-year history of the World Junior A Challenge to win gold after losing both of its preliminary-round games, joining the 2011 edition of Canada West.
Shots finished 36-19 for the USA.
Armour led tournament in goals and was tied with two others with the most points overall with 4G-2A, followed by Crookshank 2G-3A and de Jong 1G-3A, rounding out the top 5.
Rose stopped 113 of 120 over the tournament for a .942 save percentage.
Team Canada West Roster
|18||Carter Turnbull||F||R||5’8”||169||9/8/98||Nanaimo, BC||Powell River (BCHL)|
|20||Ross Armour||F||R||6’1¾”||165||2/7/98||Rossland, BC||Trail (BCHL)|
|23||Kyle Johnson||F||R||5’10½”||180||6/3/98||Port Moody, BC||Prince George (BCHL)|
|9||Angus Crookshank||F||L||5’10”||181||10/2/99||North Van, BC||Langley (BCHL)|
|10||Ethan de Jong||F||R||5’10½”||170||7/12/99||North Van, BC||Prince George (BCHL)|
|15||Rylan Van Unen||F||L||6’0¼”||169||2/26/99||Kamloops, BC||Merritt (BCHL)|
|17||Brett Stapley||F||R||5’9¾”||165||2/23/99||Campbell River, BC||Vernon (BCHL)|
|2||Seth Barton||D||R||6’2¼”||175||8/18/99||Kelowna, BC||Trail (BCHL)|
|6||Jonny Tychonick||D||L||5’11½”||168||3/3/00||Penticton, BC||Penticton (BCHL)|
|11||Brendan Budy||F||L||5’10”||178||6/6/00||Langley, BC||Langley (BCHL)|
|12||Harrison Blaisdell||F||L||5’10½”||175||3/18/01||Abbotsford, BC||Chilliwack (BCHL)|
|3||Jarrod Gourley||D||L||6’2”||195||6/29/99||Calgary, AB||Spruce Grove (AJHL)|
|7||T.J. Lloyd||D||R||5’7½”||163||11/15/99||Lloydminster, AB||Spruce Grove (AJHL)|
|4||Jacob Bernard-Docker||D||R||6’0”||181||6/30/00||Canmore, AB||Okotoks (AJHL)|
|16||Dylan Holloway||F||L||5’11¼”||165||9/1/01||Bragg Creek, AB||Okotoks (AJHL)|
|8||Levi Kleiboer||D||R||5’10½”||154||7/17/98||Martensville, SK||Battlefords (SJHL)|
|14||Riese Gaber||F||L||5’7¼”||138||10/10/99||Gilbert Plains, MB||Steinbach (MJHL)|
|31||Mitch Adamyk||G||L||6’2½”||184||12/25/98||East St. Paul, MB||Powell River (BCHL)|
|19||Corey Andonovski||F||R||6’0¼”||193||3/26/99||Uxbridge, ON||Chilliwack (BCHL)|
|24||Ryan O’Connell||D||L||6’1¼”||170||4/25/99||Gloucester, ON||Penticton (BCHL)|
|22||Chrystopher Collin||F||R||5’10”||158||5/5/99||Bois-des-Filion, QC||Flin Flon (SJHL)|
|1||Zach Rose||G||L||6’0”||180||7/3/99||Paradise, N.L.||Victoria (BCHL)|