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Armour lifts Canada West into semis

Photo: Dennis Pajot/Hockey Canada Images
By Jason La Rose/Hockey Canada Communications

TRURO, N.S. — Ross Armour tied the game with 6:31 left and won it 42 seconds into overtime, sending Canada West into the semifinals at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge with a 4-3 quarter-final over Canada East on Wednesday night.

The westerners will take on the Czech Republic in the second semifinal Thursday (7:30 p.m. AT).

Less than a minute after the puck dropped to start the extra period, Armour stripped East defenceman Aidan Girduckis at centre ice and broke in alone before roofing a shot over the glove of goaltender Jett Alexander to finish the comeback he started.

Carter Turnbull and Jacob Bernard-Docker had the other goals for West, which improved to 7-1 all-time against East and advanced to the semifinals for the 10th time in 12 years.

Turnbull got the offence started just past the six-minute mark on the power play, one-timing a feed from Dylan Holloway through Alexander from the low slot for the lone goal of the first period.

A fortuitous bounce doubled the lead early in the second; Bernard-Docker dumped the puck into the East zone from centre ice, only for it to bounce off the end boards, off Alexander and in for the 2-0 goal.

But Derek Dicaire answered just 62 seconds later for East, taking a drop pass from Colton Kalezic and wiring a shot past West netminder Zach Rose to cut the deficit in half through 40 minutes.

Nick Campoli tied the game on the power play at 2:31 of the third period, tucking a loose puck past Rose at the side of the net, and Jack McBain finished off a three-on-two by popping the water bottle just 21 seconds after that to put the easterners ahead for the first time.

Armour forced overtime at 13:29, turning in the slot and finding room over the shoulder of Alexander for another man-advantage goal.

West finished with a 37-21 edge in shots on goal.

The loss drops Canada East into the fifth-place game against Switzerland on Friday afternoon (3:30 p.m. AT).