Troy Stecher's power-play goal 1:22 into overtime gave Canada West a 4-3 win against Russia on Wednesday, the final day of preliminary-round play in the 2012 World Junior A Challenge, in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
The win clinched first place in Group A for Canada West and earned it a bye into the tournament semifinals Friday.
Canada West goalie Jonah Imoo stopped 37 of 40 shots as Russia outshot Canada West 40-19.
Stecher's teammate with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League and fellow 2013 NHL Draft prospect Wade Murphy opened the scoring with a power-play goal 3:34 into the second, but Russia responded with goals two minutes apart to take a 2-1 lead. Seb Lloyd scored with 15 seconds left in the second to tie the game.
Aaron Hadley put Canada West up 3-2 two minutes into the third, but Russia's Sergei Stetsenko, a C-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of players to watch for this year's draft, scored at 14:09 of the third to force overtime.