Trail Smoke Eaters Ross Armour and Seth Barton helped Team Canada West to a World Junior A Challenge gold medal on Saturday with a 5-1 victory over the U.S.A. Hockey Canada photo.

Trail Smoke Eaters Ross Armour and Seth Barton helped Team Canada West to a World Junior A Challenge gold medal on Saturday with a 5-1 victory over the U.S.A. Hockey Canada photo.

Canada West captures gold at WJAC

Canada West wins gold, Trail Smoke Eater Ross Armour named to WJAC All-Star team

Trail Smoke Eaters Ross Armour and Seth Barton made the most of their time in Truro, Nova Scotia with Team Canada West, winning gold at the World Junior A Challenge on Saturday.

After losing their first two games of the tournament, Team Canada West rang off three straight victories that concluded with Saturday’s very satisfying 5-1 drubbing of the U.S.A. to win gold.

“Character, lots of character, and a lot of heart,” was Team Canada West head coach Mike Reagan’s response when asked about what made the difference for his team. “‘The Western Way.’ That’s what we preached, and the Canadian Way, and I’m just so proud of these guys. Three days ago we were sitting at 0-2, but we believed in this group.”

Victoria Grizzlies goalie Zach Rose was spectacular in a 35-save performance, Angus Crookshank scored the game-winning goal and added an assist, and Armour scored once to win the 2017 World Junior A Challenge.

“There’s nothing like it,” said Canada West captain Carter Turnbull in a release. “We’re just ecstatic right now. We just kept it simple – all the guys were rolling, all the guys were getting shots on goal. It was awesome to see, and we really deserved it today. There’s nothing like [winning]. I’m speechless, really. It’s just awesome.”

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.

See related story: Ross Armour’s OT goal lifts Team Canada West past East

Rose – who was 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.

Team 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 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 Andonovski 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 Armour for his fourth goal of the tournament at 6:36, and Carter Turnbull forced a turnover deep in the American zone before feeding Dylan Holloway for the fifth and final Canadian marker just 32 seconds later.

Armour, a Rossland native, was tied for top spot in tournament scoring with six points on four goals and two assists and was named to the WJAC tournament All-Star team.

Joining Armour on the All-Star Team are Canada West’s goalie Rose, defencemen Alexander Romanov of Team Russia and Team Canada West’s Jonny Tychonick (Penticton, BCHL); as well as forwards Colton Kalezic (Toronto, OJHL) from Team Canada East, and American Tyler Madden

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interfor’s Castlegar mill is getting $35 million in upgrades. Photo by: John Boivin
Interfor to invest $35 million at Castlegar mill

Project will enhance productivity and competitiveness

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

The Trail ambassador candidates are taking their talents to the stage Friday night, with the showcase culminating in the crowning of a new Miss Trail, Miss Trail Princess and Miss Congeniality. Photo: Trail Ambassador Programme
Miss Trail 2021 will be crowned Friday night

After the 2020 pageant was cancelled, seven candidates remained for this year’s event

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read