U.S. defenceman Brian Cooper upends Canada West forward Jujhar Khaira along the boards during the final preliminary round game at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge at the Langley Events Centre. The U.S. won the game 6-1.

WJAC: Quarter-final match-ups set

Canada East, Sweden await winners in semifinal round

Arseni Khatsei scored the tying goal midway through the second period and recorded the lone goal of the shootout as Russia closed Group B preliminary play at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge with a 3-2 over Canada East.

Despite the loss, Canada East (1-1) won their pool and advance straight to Friday’s (Nov. 11) semifinal round at the Langley Events Centre.

The Russians (1-1) finished third in the group and will face the United States in a quarter-final tonight (Nov. 10) at 4 p.m.

The U.S. placed second in pool A after hammering Canada West 6-1 on Wednesday night.

Mario Lucia, a second round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild, led the way for the U.S. with two goals and an assist. The U.S. (1-1) used dominant special teams, scoring twice on the power play and twice more short-handed.

Canada West (0-2) faces Czech Republic (1-1) in the other quarter-final with that game set for 7:30  p.m. on Nov. 10.

Sweden (2-0) is also through to the semifinals.

In Wednesday’s early game, Canada East held a 49-30 advantage in shots on goal through the game’s 65 minutes — including 18-3 in the third period — but were continuously turned away by goaltender Andrei Vasilevski.

After his 47-save performance, he denied David Friedmann, Devin Shore and Tyson Spink in the shootout.

In the Canada West/United States showdown, Lucia set up Sean Kuraly and then scored one of his own for a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Vince Hinostroza and Alex Broadhurst both scored short-handed goals in the second period. Broadhurst is a seventh round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Aaron Hadley ended Canada West’s 108-minute scoring drought with a short-handed goal midway through the third, converting a two-on-one break feed from Evan Richardson.

Sam Herr and Lucia rounded out the scoring with goals 33 seconds apart late in the game.