2012 World Junior A Challenge

Three Stars of the Day
1. Vince Hinostroza (F) – United States
The American captain finished the World Junior A Challenge in style, scoring twice and adding two assists in the United States’ 6-3 gold medal game victory over Canada West. The offensive output left Hinostroza with eight points (six goals, two assists), good for a tie atop the tournament scoring chart. In addition to his gold medal, Hinostroza also picked up tournament MVP honours and earned a spot on the all-star team.
2. Ian Brady (D) – United States
Brady, named a tournament all-star, was a force on the U.S. blue line, picking up three assists in Sunday’s gold medal game win over Canada West to give him eight for the tournament. Not only did Brady’s assist total help him finish as the tournament’s co-leading scorer, becoming the first defenceman to earn that distinction, he broke the record for most assists in a single tournament, previously set by Vladimir Tarasenko in 2008.
3. Aidan Wallace (F) – CJHL East
Even though East finished short of its goal of erasing a five-goal deficit and winning the President’s Cup, Wallace, a Pickering Panthers forward, did his part to help it get close, scoring twice and setting up Jesse Lussier’s goal that briefly tied the CJHL Prospects Games as East earned a 6-3 win in the second game on Sunday afternoon, but dropped an 8-6 decision to West in the two-game, total goal series.

1. Melvin Nyffeler (G) – Switzerland
Making his second start of the tournament, Nyffeler was spotless against Canada East to help the Swiss to their second World Junior A Challenge bronze medal, turning aside all 27 shots he faced in a 6-0 win. After allowing two goals over the last 45 minutes of Switzerland’s semifinal loss to the U.S., Nyffeler got the call in the third-place game and became the second straight goaltender to blank Canada East.
2. Artyom Prokhorov (F) – Russia
Prokhorov opened and closed the scoring for the Russians in their 4-1 fifth-place game victory over the Czech Republic, converting on the power play eight minutes in before scoring into an empty net in the dying minutes to clinch the win. Prokhorov finished as the Russians’ leading scorer with five points, and his four goals are tied for the tournament lead with one day remaining.
3. Sean MacTavish (F) – CJHL West
The son of four-time Stanley Cup champion Craig MacTavish, the younger “MacT” was the scoring star for West in its 5-0 win over East in the first CJHL Prospects Game, combining with linemates Joseph Drapluk and Dante Hahn to find the back of the net twice in less than five minutes early in the second period to kick off the scoring and help West to a commanding lead in the two-game, total goal series.

1. Jonah Imoo (G) – Canada West
For the second time in three games Imoo was perfect in the Canada West goal, turning aside all 17 shots he faced to help his team reach the gold medal game for the sixth time in seven World Junior A Challenges. He wasn’t busy, but Imoo made the big saves when he had to in becoming the first goaltender in tournament history to post more than one shutout in a single year.
2. Charlie Finn (G) – Canada East
If ever there was a player who best defined “hard-luck loser,” it was Finn on Friday night. The Canada East goaltender was spectacular against Canada West, allowing only a single goal on 24 shots, but his team couldn’t get him a goal in a 1-0 loss. Since he was pulled from after the first period of Canada East’s tournament-opening loss to the U.S., Finn has posted a 1.33 GAA and .950 save percentage.
3. Nicholas Schilkey (F) – United States
Schilkey sparked the Americans’ offensive explosion in the first period of their 7-4 semifinal win over Switzerland, helping set up Alex Kile for the game’s opening goal three minutes in and scoring one of his own seven minutes later as the U.S. built a 5-0 lead in the first 15 minutes. He added his second goal of the game in the middle frame as the Americans held off a late Swiss push to advance to the gold medal game.

1. Shane Conacher (F) – Canada East
Conacher was deadly on the power play for Canada East in its quarter-final blanking of the Czech Republic, scoring twice with the man advantage to help the Canadians reach the semifinals. The Burlington, Ont., native, younger brother of reigning AHL MVP Cory Conacher, has three goals in three games, tied with Canada West forward Wade Murphy and American Ryan Fitzgerald for the tournament lead.
2. Christoph Bertschy (F) – Switzerland
The lone NHL-drafted player in the Swiss line-up – he was taken 158th overall by Minnesota in 2012 – Bertschy was all over the ice in his team’s quarter-final win over Russia, opening the scoring just 24 seconds into the second period and using his speed to frustrate the Russians, helping Switzerland to the semifinals for the second time in as many tournament appearances.
3. Charlie Finn (G) – Canada East
Pulled after the first period of Canada East’s tournament-opening 9-1 loss to the United States, Finn has rebounded nicely, allowing just three goals in his last two games, including a 25-save shutout performance in the Canadians’ 4-0 quarter-final win over the Czechs. Finn joined Adrian Ignagni, who blanked the Czechs last year, as the only Canada East goaltenders to post a World Junior A Challenge shutout.

1. Troy Stecher (D) – Canada West
Already a World Junior A Challenge gold medallist and RBC Cup champion, Stecher added overtime hero to his resume on Wednesday, scoring on a power play 1:22 into the extra period to give Canada West a win over Russia and a trip to the semifinals. The goal was the first for the Surrey, B.C., native in seven career WJAC games; he was pointless in five games at the 2011 tournament.
2. Dalen Hedges (F) – Canada East
Hedges opened and closed the scoring for Canada East in its win over Switzerland, tying the game just 17 seconds after Valentin Luthi had given the Swiss an early lead and scoring the winner midway through the second period, the back end of a two-goals-in-38-seconds spurt, helping the Canadians avoid their first 0-2 preliminary round in tournament history.
3. Wade Murphy (F) – Canada West
Murphy backed up a two-goal performance in Canada West’s tournament-opening win over the Czech Republic with a goal and two assists against Russia, including the game’s opening goal and a beautiful break-out pass to Troy Stecher on the overtime winner. He has five points through the first two games, good for the co-lead with teammate Alex Kerfoot in the tournament scoring race.  

1. Rhyse Dieno (F)/Alex Kerfoot (F)/Dylan Richard (F) – Canada West
Canada West’s big line was the straw that stirred the drink in its tournament-opening romp over the Czechs, combining for four goals and 10 points in the 7-0 victory. Dieno led the way with a goal and three assists, Kerfoot had two goals and a helper and Richard scored once and added two assists to help the Canadians to their second-most lopsided win in World Junior A Challenge history.
2. Austin Cangelosi (F) – United States
With the U.S. in a surprising 1-0 hole after one period against the Swiss, Cangelosi helped the Americans turn the game quickly once the puck dropped to start the second period, setting up captain Vince Hinostroza for the tying goal just 1:44 into the middle frame before adding a goal of his own just minutes later, capping off a three-goals-in-four-minutes stretch and helping the U.S. clinch a semifinal berth.
3. Jonah Imoo (G) – Canada West
From NHL draft picks to tournament all-stars and MVP award winners, Canada West has had its share of stand-out goaltenders at the World Junior A Challenge. But Imoo did something Tuesday none of them managed to do – record a shutout. The netminder turned away all 20 shots he faced in a 7-0 win over the Czechs, the first time a Canada West blanked an opponent in 29 tournament games.

1. Ryan Fitzgerald (F) – United States
Fitzgerald got the ball rolling in the Americans’ one-sided victory over Canada East, scoring at 2:24, 9:06 and 19:50 of the first period as the U.S. jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes en route to a 9-1 win. Fitzgerald joined elite company with his hat trick, becoming just the third player in tournament history to record three goals in one period, joining Casey Pierro-Zabotel (Canada West, 2007) and Sergei Drozd (Belarus, 2008).
2. Saveli Ilin (F) – Russia
With Russia nursing a one-goal lead heading into the final period, captain Ilin took over, giving his team some breathing room early in the third before adding even more insurance later in the period. His Player of the Game performance helped Russia to its first opening-game win since a 2-1 victory over Canada West in 2009, which was also the last time the Russians won a World Junior A Challenge medal.
3. Artyom Prokhorov (F) – Russia
Down 1-0 past the game’s midway point, Prokhorov started a Russian revolution of sorts; his goal at 13:27 of the second period started a run of six unanswered as Russia cruised to a tournament-opening victory over the Czech Republic. He added his second goal, and second on the power play, midway through the third as the Russians pulled away in the final 20 minutes to avenge their 2011 preliminary round loss to the Czechs.