It wasn't an easy road for Canada West, but they found a way to get better as the World Junior A Challenge went along and came out of it as champions.
They went winless in their two round robin games and needed to take the long route to the gold medal game.
They needed a 4-1 quarterfinal win over the Czechs, followed by needing a overtime goal from Express forward Alex Kerfoot vs. Sweden to advance to the gold medal game.
After playing 4 games in 4 nights, Team West got some much needed rest and it helped in their gold medal contest winning 4-2 over Canada East.
It was the best performance all tournament long for the Western side.
The line of Alex Kerfoot, Evan Richardson of the Powell River Kings and Brandon Morley of the Surrey Eagles were at their best in the championship game.
Kerfoot set up Richardson for the games first goal early in the second period. Then Kerfoot scored a highlight reel goal to put Canada West up 2.
The lead was cut to one entering the third on a goal by Michael Neville, it didn't rattle Canada West, they came out strong in the third period and got a powerplay goal by Carson Cooper. That was followed by another highlight reel goal by Vernon's Aaron Hadley.
Click below to hear Alex Kerfoot's post game comments
Many players for Canada West improved as the week went along. The same could be said for Powell River Kings goaltender Sean Maguire. His play was recognized by being named the tournaments top goaltender.
Click below to hear Kent Lewis' post game comments
The win for Canada West was their third World Junior A Challenge gold, and their first since winning the first two World Junior A Challenge gold medals and 2006 and 2007.
For Canada East they're bridesmaids again for a second straight year and fourth time overall. They're still in search of their first World Junior A Challenge gold medal.
Alex Kerfoot isn't the only member of the Express organization coming away with a gold medal. Athletic Therapist Erin Berkowski served in the same role for Team Canada West.