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Canada East, Canada West win final prelim games

by Adam Kimelman

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.

Russia next faces Switzerland in one of Thursday's quarterfinal games.

In Wednesday's other game, Dalen Hedges scored two goals as Canada East won its first game of the tournament, 4-3 against Switzerland.

Fellow 2013 draft prospect Marly Quince had a goal and two assists, Justin Danforth had a goal, and goalie Charlie Finn stopped 28 of 31 shots.

Luca Fazzini, a C-rated skater in Central Scouting's preliminary rankings, had a goal and an assist for Switzerland.

Canada East next faces the Czech Republic in Thursday's second quarterfinal.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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