FARGO, N.D. _ The United States scored two third-period power-play goals and defeated Canada 2-1 in Friday’s semifinal action at the world under-18 hockey championship.
Jerry D’Amigo scored the winner with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation for the Americans after Jeremy Morin had tied the game with just over 10 minutes left.
Both goals came on the power play as Canada took four minor penalties in the third.
”In the third I thought (the Americans) were skating,” Canadian head coach Mike Johnston said. “They carried good speed they had some quick forwards, and as a result you sometimes take some penalties against speed like that.”
Dylan Olsen had given Canada a 1-0 lead on a two-man advantage in the second period.
The game featured excellent goaltending at both ends of the ice. Oshawa Generals netminder Michael Zador played a strong game in goal for Canada, making 42 saves. Jack Campbell stopped 32 shots for the U.S.
”Both goaltenders played well,” Johnston said. “(Campbell) held them in the game in the first period, when I thought we really dominated. Zador came up big in the second and into the third and held us in the game when they were really pressuring us.”
Russia beat Finland 4-0 in Friday’s other semifinal and will meet the Americans in the gold-medal game on Sunday. Evgeni Kuznetsov had two goals and two assists for Russia.
Johnston said he anticipates a close final.
“It’s such a close tournament between the top teams that special teams are a big big factor,” Johnston said. “Whoever can be disciplined and whoever can take advantage of their power play will probably win that game.”
Canada and Finland will play for bronze in Sunday’s early game.
“We played Finland once in exhibition once in exhibition play. They’ve got a very good team,” Johnston said. “We know how they’re team plays and we’ll be prepared for them like we have for the other opponents.”
In relegation round action at Moorehead, Minn., Germany gave up a 4-1 lead against Slovakia, but rebounded to win 5-4 in double overtime. Both teams wrap up relegation round play on Saturday.