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Canada West advances to gold-medal game at WJAC

Team Canada’s Brett Stapley goes to the top corner of the Czech Republic net during a World Junior A Hockey Challenge semifinal game in Truro on Thursday. Canada won 5-1 and will play for gold on Saturday against the United States. Mark Goudge/SaltWire Network
Team Canada’s Brett Stapley goes to the top corner of the Czech Republic net during a World Junior A Hockey Challenge semifinal game in Truro on Thursday. Canada won 5-1 and will play for gold on Saturday against the United States. Mark Goudge/SaltWire Network

TRURO, N.S. – Brett Stapley scored a pair of goals to pace Canada West to a 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Thursday night in a semifinal game at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge.

Canada West will meet defending champion United States in the gold-medal game on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the RECC in a showdown of the only two teams to ever win WJAC gold; the U.S. has claimed seven titles, while West owns the other four.

The U.S. blanked Russia 5-0 in the other semifinal on Thursday.

Angus Crookshank, Dylan Holloway and Brendan Budy scored other goals for West, which scored four times in the final nine minutes to punch its ticket to the gold medal game.

Jan Kern had the lone goal for the Czechs.

West goaltender Zach Rose made 26 saves for the win.

The loss sends the Czech Republic to the bronze medal game against Russia on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in a rematch of last year's third-place game, which was a 7-4 win for the Russians.

Canada East meets Switzerland in the fifth-place game on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

If a preliminary round game between the U.S. and Canada West is any indication, then expect Saturday’s gold-medal game to be a gem. On Tuesday the teams battled for 60 minutes in what many feel was the game of the tournament. The U.S. edged Canada West 2-1 on a late third-period goal in front of a full house at the RECC.

 

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