United States edges Canada West 2-1 to win gold at world junior A challenge

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Matt Leitner scored the winner as the United States defeated Canada West 2-1 to win the gold medal at the world junior 'A' hockey challenge Sunday.
Leitner broke the 1-1 tie 50 seconds into the third period to give the U.S. their second straight gold at the 19-and-under tournament.
"It was one heck of a hockey game," said United States head coach Mark Carlson.
"Eric Mihalik was tremendous for us in net and it was a gutsy, gutsy win."
Earlier Sunday, Russia scored three goals in a 65-second span in the final 1:35 of the third period en route to a 6-2 victory over Canada East in the bronze-medal game.
Before over 2,700 fans, Leitner made a nifty move around a Canada West defenceman and then slid the puck through the legs of goaltender Sean Bonar, who finished with 34 saves and was named the tournament most valuable player and all-star.
"It was a great move and (Leitner) has one-on-one ability for sure," said Carlson. "We want to let our guys make plays, and he made one."
After a scoreless first period, Kellen Jones' low shot from a sharp angle off the right wing deflected off the stick of a United States defenceman and past goaltender Mihalik, who made 28 saves.
Eamonn McDermott scored off his own rebound to tie the game at 16:07. Both second-period goals came on the power play.
Canada West head coach Rylan Ferster said it was a case of two good teams battling to the end.
"Our hat is off to the U.S," said Ferster. "They're a great team and are the defending champions. To beat the best you have to knock off the best and they brought a really good game today."
The Americans beat Canada West 7-1 in last year's final in Camrose, Alta.
Ferster, who coaches Salmon Arm in the British Columbia Hockey League, praised his players.
"Our kids played really hard," said Ferster. "I'm so proud and honoured to be a part of Hockey Canada and Team Canada West here. Those 22 kids gave it their all and they have nothing to be ashamed about."
In the bronze medal game earlier Sunday, Sergey Barbashev scored at 18:25 and 19:30 while Nail Yakupov added an empty-net goal at 19:04 for Russia in the third period against Canada East.
"I'm satisfied for the players," said Russia head coach Mikhail Vasiliev. "The guys deserved this medal."
Greg Carey scored at 6:14 to give Canada East a 1-0 lead after one period.
Semen Zherebtsov (9:48) and Pavel Kulikov (15:22) made it a 2-1 game for Russia after 40 minutes.
Laliberte tapped in a rebound to tie the game 5:24 into the third period, but Vladislav Namestnikov, who just seconds earlier missed two glorious opportunities to score, put Russia in front for good at 9:58 as he beat Canada East goaltender Matt Ginn along the ice from in close.
Russia, the youngest team at the 19-and-under tournament, outshot Canada East 37-28.
"I thought we played one of our best games," said head coach Todd Gill outside a quiet Canada East dressing room. "Obviously, we had to open up (late in the game) and they took advantage of that."

Organizations: Canada West 2, British Columbia Hockey League

Geographic location: United States, Russia, Canada East Canada West SUMMERSIDE Camrose Salmon Arm

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