Canada advances to second straight gold medal game at World Juniors

Photo Courtesy of Hockey Canada London Knights forward Connor McMichael celebrates after scoring in Canada’s 5-0 semifinal win over Russia on Monday at the World Juniors.

Schneider records goal and assist in semifinal win over Russia

Canada’s national men’s Under-20 team is one win away from winning the World Juniors for a second straight year.

The defending tournament champions reached Tuesday’s gold medal game with a 5-0 triumph over Russia in Monday’s semifinal.

Their opponent for the tournament decider is the United States, who edged Finland in a thrilling 4-3 affair on Monday night.

Canada, who reached the final four by defeating the Czech Republic 3-0 on Saturday, is the last country to repeat as tournament champions as they won five straight events from 2005 to 2009.

Monday’s rematch of last year’s title tilt was decided in the opening frame as Canada lit the lamp three times and outshot Russia by a 16-7 margin.

Alex Newhook (Boston College Eagles) scored 59 seconds into the game as he returned to the lineup after missing the quarter-final game with a shoulder injury he suffered against Finland.

Prince Albert’s Braden Schneider had an assist on the play as the Brandon Wheat Kings blueliner recorded his second point of the tournament and followed that up with a goal in the middle stanza.

Connor McMichael (London Knights) and Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit) also scored in the first period.

Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes) had a goal and two assists to lead the way on offence, while Devon Levi (Northeastern Huskies) turned aside 27 shots for his third clean sheet and his second in a row.

Nashville Predators first round pick Yaroslav Askarov struggled early but finished out the evening with 30 saves.

The other semifinal went down to the wire as Finland scored twice in the final frame to tie things up at three, but Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs) countered for the United States with 1:16 to go to give his team the win.

Kaliyev and Alex Turcotte (Los Angeles Kings) had a goal and assist each to lead the way for the Americans, who last won the tournament in 2017 and are in the final for the first time since 2019.

John Farinacci (Muskegon Lumberjacks) and Matthew Boldy (Boston Terriers) also scored in the victory, while Spencer Knight (Boston College Eagles) stopped 33 shots.

Kasper Simontaival (Tappara) had a pair of goals for Finland, who were trying to reach the final for the first time in two years and were looking to end the United States’ title hopes for a third straight tournament, while Kasper Puutio (Everett Silvertips) and Ville Heinola (Winnipeg Jets) each dished out two helpers.

Roni Hirvonen (Assat) also scored in this loss, which saw Kari Piiroinen (Windsor Spitfires) make 22 saves.

Tuesday’s gold medal game, which will get underway at 7:30 p.m., will mark the fifth time that Canada and the United States have met in the final.

Canada won the first meeting in 1997 , but the Americans prevailed in 2004, 2010 and 2017.

The bronze medal game between Russia and Finland will take place at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.