UFA, Russia, January 3 (R-Sport) - The United States smashed Canada 5-1 on Thursday to reach the final of the world junior hockey championships.
The U.S. reached its fourth-ever world junior final after gaining revenge for a 2-1 group stage defeat at the hands of the Canadians, and will play the winner of the semifinal clash between Sweden and Russia later Thursday.
Canada had not suffered such a large defeat at the world junior championships since a 4-0 loss to Sweden in 1998.
The U.S. started the game in a lively fashion, raining down shots on Malcolm Subban's goal before defenseman and captain Jake McCabe on eight minutes. McCabe then struck again with a fine shot into the top-right corner.
Calgary Flames prospect John Gaudreau increased the lead to 3-0 with a sweet wrist shot that took him top of the goalscoring lists.
Then, Jim Vesey netted the fourth for the Americans, forcing Canada coach Steve Spott to replace Subban with reserve goaltender Jordan Binnington for the first time in the tournament.
The third period brought a consolation goal for Canada from Ty Rattie and a second strike for Gaudreau, who has scored seven goals in his last three games.
John Gibson stopped 33 shots for the U.S. as he continued to impress a year on from being named the best goaltender at the world under-18 championships.
The final will be played Saturday.