Trail Smoke Eaters forward Philippe Lapointe (right) was named assistant captain to the Team Canada West squad at the World Jr. A Challenge along with assistant Brendan Budy (left) of the Langley Rivermen and captain Massimo Rizzo of the Coquitlam Express. Hockey Canada photo.

Team East bests West at WJAC

Team Canada West falls to Canada East for second straight loss at World Jr. A Challenge

Trail Smoke Eaters forward Owen Ozar was one of the few bright spots in Team Canada West’s 5-1 loss to Team Canada East on Sunday night at the 2019 World Jr. A Challenge in Dawson Creek.

The University of Denver commit was named Player of the Game in a tough loss to to their Canadian rival. It was Team West’s second straight loss to open the tournament, after suffering a 3-2 setback against the U.S. on Saturday.

Ayrton Martino scored two goals and set up two others for Team East in the 5-1 drubbing, while goalie Devon Levi was solid in net stopping 29 shots.

It is just the second time in 10 all-time meetings that East has beaten West; its other win came in the quarter-finals of the 2014 tournament in Kindersley, Sask.

“I had to remind our guys after the first period to just play hockey and stick to our game,” said Team Canada East head coach Martin Dagenais. “[Our players] have seen the results in past years between the West and East, but we feel like we can play with these guys. We respect them as opponents and we know they can play, but at the same time we played with no fear in the second and third periods.”

Canada West head coach Joe Martin, had all three Trail forwards playing on separate lines. As a result, Team East managed to shut down BCHL leading scorer Kent Johnson and Philippe Lapointe and their new linemates. Ozar’s speed and talent generated a handful of scoring chances, yet, he was thwarted by Levi and the East’s defence.

Martin also rarely put the Smoke Eaters trio together on the power play, despite their scoring prowess in the BCHL this season and success generating the league’s most potent power-play unit.

Ethan Edwards scored the lone Canada West goal, and West goalie Carter Gylander made 22 saves in the loss, as Team Canada struggled to find offence, going 0-for-7 on the power play.

“It is definitely frustrating,” said Team Canada West captain Massimo Rizzo. “Any time you lose, it obviously does not feel good, especially when it’s two in a row. We have put ourselves in a situation where the next two games are huge for our team and we know we have to be a lot better than we have been playing these last two games. We are going to take these next two days off to reset, and we will come back to the rink and start playing the way we know how to.”

In 2017, Team Canada West, led by Smoke Eaters forward Ross Armour, lost their first two games of the round robin, and went on to capture gold.

Canada West is back in action Wednesday night when they face Russia at 6 p.m. at the Encana Events Centre in Dawson Creek.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Rosslanders celebrate Canada Day in style

Locals organized a museum scavenger hunt, a Mt. Roberts flag-raising ceremony and evening fireworks

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre expands operations online

The facility also opened back up to the public earlier in June

Rossland’s Sourdough Alley a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

Rossland’s earliest thoroughfare was once derided as a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read