EAST BEATS WEST IN ALL-CANADIAN SHOWDOWN AT WJAC
JASON LA ROSE
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Ayrton Martino (Toronto, Ont./St. Michael’s, OJHL) scored two goals and set up two others, and Ryland Mosley (Arnprior, Ont./Carleton Place, CCHL) added a goal and a helper, sending Canada East to a 5-1 win over Canada West on Sunday night at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge.
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.
Ryan Alexander (Toronto, Ont./St. Michael’s, OJHL) and Nicholas DeGrazia (Thunder Bay, Ont./Rayside-Balfour, NOJHL) had the other goals for Canada East, which grabbed a two-goal lead within the first six minutes and never looked back.
Devon Levi (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que./Carleton Place, CCHL) was terrific between the pipes, making 29 saves.
Martino struck first just 2:55 after the puck dropped, jumping on a Mosley rebound and beating West goaltender Carter Gylander (Beaumont, Alta./Sherwood Park, AJHL).
The roles were reversed three minutes later when Martino and Mosley raced away on a shorthanded two-on-one and the East captain tucked in a backhand, but Ethan Edwards (St. Albert, Alta./Spruce Grove, AJHL) intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and cut into the middle before snapping a shot past Levi to get West on the board 2:10 after that.
The Martino-Mosley-Alexander line produced the only goal of the second period; Martino found Philippe Chapleau (Longueuil, Que./Longueuil, LHJAAAQ) at the point, and Alexander chipped the rebound over a sprawling Gylander to restore the two-goal lead after 40 minutes.
East kept its foot on the gas in the final frame, outshooting West 12-8 and adding two more goals.
DeGrazia made it a 4-1 game six minutes into the third, throwing a centring pass into the slot and following the puck to the net before sweeping in a loose puck, and Martino forced a turnover deep in the West zone and tucked an unassisted effort five-hole on Gylander to finish the scoring at 13:51.
The win helps East keep pace with Russia atop the standings with four points through two games, while West is winless in its first two games for the second time in three years and third time ever. The good news? The other two times started 0-2, in 2011 and 2017, it won gold.
Both teams are on the ice next Wednesday night; Canada West will take on Russia in Dawson Creek (7 p.m. MT), while Canada East will travel an hour down the road to Fort St. John, B.C., to face the United States (7 p.m. MT).