LANGLEY, B.C. – Mario Lucia scored twice and added an assist and the U.S. scored four times on special teams to knock off Canada West 6-1 Wednesday night in the final preliminary round game at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge.
The win gives the Americans second place in Group A and sets up a Thursday afternoon quarter-final against Russia (4 p.m. PT), while Canada West will meet the Czech Republic in the day’s other quarter (7:30 p.m. PT).
Lucia set up Sean Kuraly on the power play for the game’s first goal and scored a man-advantage marker of his own late in the opening period as the Americans led 2-0 after one period and 4-0 after two thanks to shorthanded goals from Vince Hinostroza and Alex Broadhurst.
Sam Herr and Lucia, with goals 33 seconds apart, rounded out the scoring in the dying minutes of the third period.
Aaron Hadley (Castlegar, B.C./Vernon, BCHL) ended Canada West’s 108-minute scoring drought with a shorthanded goal midway through the third period, converting a 2-on-1 feed from Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, B.C./Powell River, BCHL) for the Canadian side’s first goal of the tournament.
The five-goal defeat matched Canada West’s second largest all time at the World Junior A Challenge, trailing only a 7-1 loss to the U.S. in the 2008 gold medal game in Camrose, Alta.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)