The Vernon Vipers will be represented by three players in Sunday’s gold medal game at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge in Langley.
Aaron Hadley of the Vipers scored his second goal of the tournament as Canada West clipped Sweden 2-1 in Friday semifinal action. D-men Brett Corkey and Luke Juha are also on the West roster, coached by Kent Lewis of the Powell River Kings.
Alex Kerfoot of the BCHL Coquitlam Express scored the winner 2:09 into overtime to send Canada West to the gold medal game against Canada East, 4-2 winners over the U.S. in the other semifinal.
Kerfoot broke away from the Swedish defence and snuck a shot off the post and in against goaltender Oscar Dansk to set up an all-Canadian gold medal game (5 p.m. PT, TSN2).
Danskwas spectacular in shutting out the U.S. 1-0 in his only other start of the tournament on Monday. Hadley’s wrist shot from the point shot appeared to be going wide, but hit the shaft of Dansk’s stick and ricocheted behind him just 6:34 into the game.
Filip Sandberg scored the lone goal for Sweden, converting a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Mattias Kalin just shy of the 13-minute mark of the second period, the third goal Canada West has surrendered while enjoying a power play. Sean Maguire (Kings) turned aside 28 shots.
Canada West will look for its third World Junior A Challenge gold medal.
Meanwhile, the Revelstoke Grizzlies brushed back the North Okanagan Knights 5-4 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play Friday night at the Revelstoke Forum.
Jordan Bledsoe supplied 1+2 for the Grizzlies. Cole Sanford of Vernon, Andrew Standish, Kyle Schwartz and Reid Blinkhorn also scored for Revelstoke, who led 3-2 after 40 minutes. Ben Greenaway (shorthanded), Patrick Chore (powerplay), Eric Chore and Cory Hochhausen (with 15 seconds to play) replied for the Knights, who dipped to 14-6-0-1.
Ethan Wood made 28 saves for the Grizz, while Dustin Nikkel recorded 27 stops for the Knights.
Patrick Chore earned 2+2 as the Knights ambushed the Chase Heat 7-3 Thursday night at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
The Knights also got two goals apiece from Vernon’s Harlan Orr and 1+2 from Vernon’s Tanner Burns. Derek Miskiman, Aiden Silzer-Hooker and Cole Fletcher countered for Chase, who lost 8-5 to the frontrunning Kamloops Storm Friday night to fall to 1-20.
There were three spirited fights in the third period with Brett Hawrys of the Knights taking on Owen Barker in a battle of Armstrong boys, Brendan Jost of the Knights going with Damon Brown and Greenaway scrapping Wade Cline.
The Knights hit the Kootenays next weekend for three games, starting Friday night against the Fernie Ghostriders.