The United States remained unbeaten and Canada West scored its first victory during the third day of preliminary-round action at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge on Wednesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, B.C.
The U.S. received two points apiece by Seth Ambroz, Max Gaede, Cason Hohmann and Sam Warning, who each scored once, and goalie Zane Gothberg turned aside 32 shots as the Americans secured a spot in the semifinal round by wrapping up first place in Group A with a 5-1 victory over Sweden.
Gaede, Hohmann and Ambroz all scored in a span of 7:25 in the second period to give the United States a 4-1 advantage. Jimmy Mullin also connected for the U.S., notching his tournament-leading fourth goal. Ambroz, a likely top 15 draft pick in June, was named the Player of the Game for the Americans. Ambroz is blogging for NHL.com this season.
Filip Gunnarsson, who had an assist, was named Player of the Game for Sweden, which received its lone goal off the stick of Alexander Lagerstrom. The U.S. will have Thursday and Friday off before Saturday's semifinals while the Swedes (0-2) will face Canada West in Thursday's quarterfinal round.
In the other preliminary contest held Wednesday, Grayson Downing and Dylan Walchuk scored third-period goals to snap a 2-2 tie and give Canada West a 4-2 triumph over Russia before 3,497 in attendance.
Russia, which yielded 52 shots to Switzerland one night earlier, allowed 53 shots to Canada West. Russian goalie Oleg Dyatlov made 49 saves and was named Player of the Game for his team. Downing received similar honors for Canada West, which will next face Sweden. Russia will battle Canada East.