Pacific opens with win

Curtis Lazar nets goal and assist as Team Pacific ices Team West 5-2 at U17 Hockey Challenge in Tecumseh, Ont.

Vernon’s Curtis Lazar netted a goal and an assist as Team Pacific iced Team West 5-2 to open the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge Thursday in Tecumseh, Ont.

Lazar, who plays with the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings and is captain of Team Pacific, assisted on Morgan Klimchuk’s (Calgary/Regina, WHL) powerplay insurance goal with 28 seconds left in the second period. He added an empty-netter in the final minute of regulation.

Sam Reinhart (West Vancouver/Kootenay, WHL) scored twice to lead the Pacific offence.

Macoy Erkamps (Ladner/Lethbridge, WHL) added a single.

Nicholas Zajac (Headingley, Man./Saskatoon, WHL) and Remi Laurencelle (Winnipeg Major Midget) handled Team West’s scoring.

Eric Comrie (Edmonton/Tri-City, WHL) recorded 12 saves for the win, while Austin Lotz (St. Adolphe, Man./Everett, WHL) was busy in making 34 stops for the West.

Pacific met the Czech Republic Friday night, followed by a Saturday-afternoon tilt with Russia, both  in LaSalle, Ont. They end their Group B schedule against the U.S. Monday in Tecumseh.

In other Thursday action, Quebec shaded Atlantic 3-2, Ontario hammered Germany 5-0 and the U.S. blitzed the Czechs 5-1. Russia blanked the U.S. Friday afternoon.

Playoffs begin Tuesday, with the bronze- and gold-medal games scheduled for 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. (PT) respectively Wednesday in Windsor, Ont.