Team USA should have had its work cut out in the semifinals of the world junior tournament going up against one of the best Canadian teams in recent memory. Instead, the Americans found things to be a walk in the park against a listless Canada squad.
The Americans routed Canada 5-1 on Thursday in Ufa, Russia, helping them advance to the gold medal game of the tournament where they will face the winner of Thursday’s other semifinal matchup between Russia and Sweden.
Team USA got another fantastic performance out of Boston College standout Johnny Gaudreau. The Flames prospect followed up his hat trick in a quarterfinal win over the Czech Republic with two more goals against Canada. The energetic forward now has seven goals in his last three games.
American goaltender John Gibson turned in what may have been his finest effort of the tournament, holding down a potent Canadian attack. The highlight came in the third period when the Anaheim prospect stoned Edmonton Oilers forward and 2011 No. 1 overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on a point-blank shot.
While Gaudreau and Gibson shined yet again, the same could not be said for Canadian goaltender and Bruins prospect Malcolm Subban. The B’s first-round pick was lifted midway through the second period after allowing four goals. It wasn’t all Subban’s fault, however, as the Canadian team was dominated in all aspects of the game, and that fell on Subban between the pipes.
The Americans will now watch the Russia-Sweden game set for Thursday morning at 8 a.m. ET. They’ll meet the winner of that game on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET.
Photo via Twitter/@USAHockey