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Lucia leads U.S. past Canada West at World Junior A

by Mike G. Morreale
Mario Lucia, the first high school player chosen at the 2011 NHL Draft, scored a pair of goals and goalie Ryan McKay made 29 saves as the U.S. scored a 6-1 victory against Canada West in the second game of the 2011 World Junior A Challenge on Wednesday in Langley, B.C.

Lucia, who currently is starring with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League, was selected in the second round (No. 60) by the Minnesota Wild.

Sean Kuraly (San Jose), Vince Hinostroza (2012 Draft eligible), Alexander Broadhurst (Chicago) and Sam Herr (2012 Draft eligible) also connected for Team USA, which now advances to Thursday's quarterfinal round in Group A against Russia at 7 p.m. ET. The U.S. is the three-time defending World Junior A champion.

Hinostroza, a 5-foot-9, 161-pound center from Bartlett, Ill., could be selected in the early rounds of the 2012 Draft in Pittsburgh on June 22.

"I'm proud of our guys with how we responded (Wednesday). Our guys focused on moving forward and we went out there (Wednesday) and got it done together." -- U.S. coach Regg Simon

"I'm proud of our guys with how we responded (Wednesday)," said U.S. coach Regg Simon. "Our guys focused on moving forward and we went out there (Wednesday) and got it done together."

The five-goal defeat matched Canada West's second-largest all time setback at the World Junior A Challenge -- the only bigger loss was a 7-1 defeat to the U.S. in the 2008 gold-medal game in Camrose, Alta.

Canada West, which will meet the Czech Republic in the Thursday's other quarterfinal match at 10:30 p.m. ET, received goals by Aaron Hadley (2012 Draft eligible) and Evan Richardson (2012 Draft eligible).

In the other preliminary round contest on Wednesday, center Arseni Khatsei (2012 Draft eligible) scored the tying goal midway through the second period and then struck for the only goal in a shootout to give Russia a 3-2 victory against Canada East in Group B.

Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevski (2012 Draft eligible) made 47 saves before stopping Canada East's David Friedmann (2012 Draft eligible), Devin Shore (2012 Draft eligible) and Tylor Spink (2012 Draft eligible) in the shootout. Canada East, which still locked up first place in Group B despite the loss, held an 18-3 shot advantage in the third period.

Vyacheslav Osnovin (2012 Draft eligible) also scored for Russia, which defeated Canada East for just the second time in five all-time meetings. Osnovin, who stars for Chelyabinsk in the Russian minor hockey league, is regarded as one of the top European players eligible for the upcoming NHL draft.

Ben Hutton (2012 Draft eligible) and Daniel Leavens (2012 Draft eligible) scored power-play goals for Canada East, which will meet the winner of the Thursday's quarterfinal match between the Russia and the U.S. on Friday in the tournament semifinal round.
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