World Junior A Challenge: Canada downs Swiss in first match

Canada West began the 2013 World Junior A Challenge on a winning note with a 4-3 victory over Switzerland on Monday.

Canada West began the 2013 World Junior A Challenge on a winning note with a 4-3 victory over Switzerland on Monday.

Vernon native and Salmon Arm SilverBack Alex Gillies scored the winner just over a minute into the third period, and Dylan Hollman of Red Deer scored twice and added an assist to lead Canada West to the victory.

Prince George Spruce King goalie Jesse Jenks got the start in goal and stopped 31 shots as the team capitalized on 3-of-5 powerplay opportunities, while the Swiss went 0-for-4 on its chances.

Canada West lost its only exhibition match Sunday 4-3 to the U.S.A before beginning round-robin play Monday. Merritt Centennial and former Trail Smoke Eater AP Dane Birks opened the scoring for Canada West who led 2-1 headed into the third, but the U.S. would score three third-period goals for the victory. Powell River’s Kurt Keats was also named captain of Team Canada West.

Canada West played the Czech Republic Tuesday afternoon but scores were unavailable at press time.