Play U.S. for gold today
THE CANADIAN PRESS—PIESTANY, Czech ReP.
Clark Bishop of St. John’s clinched the win with an empty-net goal as Canada defeated Russia 3-1 in a Friday semifinal game at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial under-18 men’s hockey tournament.
The win gives Canada a shot at a sixth straight gold medal in the event. It faces the U.S. today in the final
Spencer Watson and Sam Bennett scored first-period goals for the Canadians against Russia.
Canadian head coach Dale Hunter praised his penalty killers for preventing the Russians from scoring with a 5-on-3 man advantage in the third period.
“They played very well and killed it off and that was the difference in the game,” Hunter said.
Watson beat Russian netminder Sergei Korobov just 39 seconds into the game. Later in the frame, Watson found Bennett for a tap-in power-play goal to give Canada a two-goal edge.
Russia’s Damir Sharipzyanov cut into the lead with a power-play goal in the second period.
Bishop iced the victory with 62 seconds left . It was the first goal of the tournament for the 17-year-old Bishop, who plays with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The United States defeated the Czech Republic 5-3 in the other semifinal. Ryan Wagner scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period.
Canada was first in the Group A standings despite finishing tied with the Swiss and Czech Republic with five points apiece. The Canadians beat the Czechs and Switzerland during the preliminary round.
Canada claimed a semifinal berth with a 4-3 win over Switzerland on Wednesday.