Canada defenceman Tyler Wotherspoon (26) hangs his head after being defeated by Team USA during third period semi-final IIHF World Junior Championships hockey action in Ufa, Russia today. — Photo by The Canadian Press
UFA, Russia — Jake McCabe and John Gaudreau scored two goals apiece Thursday to lead the United States to the final of the world junior championships with a 5-1 win over Canada.
McCabe put his team ahead with a pair of similar goals, scoring during goalmouth scrambles in the first period.
“It feels awesome, especially in such an emotional game against Canada,” McCabe said. “I’m so proud of my team. This was the best game of the tournament for us.”
Gaudreau made it 3-0, beating Malcolm Subban with a low shot on a sharp counterattack at 22:58.
Subban was substituted for Jordan Binnington after stopping 12 of 16 shots, and Jim Vesey extended the lead to four 10 minutes later.
Ty Rattie scored one for Canada with a short-handed goal at 44:03, but Gaudreau scored on another attack with 4:19 to play.
United States goalie John Gibson made 33 saves for the victory.
“The defence played really well, which made my job a lot easier,” said Gibson, who made three tough saves when his team was a man down after Rattie’s goal. “If it wasn’t for them, we probably wouldn’t be here.”
Defending champion Sweden was scheduled to play Russia in the second semifinal.
The United States finished third in its group with two wins and two losses in the preliminary round, and routed the Czech Republic 7-0 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Canada didn’t lose a game in the preliminary round and had a quarterfinal bye.