Go­ing for gold

Rus­sia beats United States, Fin­land wins over Swe­den in semi­fi­nal games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ye­gor Kor­shkov had a goal and an as­sist and Rus­sia ad­vanced to the gold-medal game of the world ju­nior hockey cham­pi­onship with a 2-1 vic­tory over the United States on Mon­day.

Rus­sia will face host Fin­land for the gold on Tues­day. The Finns ad­vanced to the fi­nal af­ter hang­ing on to beat Swe­den 2-1 ear­lier Mon­day.

Pavel Kraskovski also scored for Rus­sia and Ilya Sam­sonov made 26 saves.

Chris­tian Dvo­rak scored for the United States, which will face Swe­den on Tues­day in the bronze-medal game. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 31 shots.

The Amer­i­cans have won bronze four times (1986, 1992, 2007, 2011).

It’s a dis­ap­point­ing out­come for a team loaded with NHL-drafted tal­ent.

“It’s a tough pill to swal­low,” U.S. top scorer Aus­ton Matthews said. “They kept us on the out­side, and they blocked a lot of shots.”

The Rus­sians ousted the U.S. in the tour­na­ment for the third straight year.

“We’ve got to re­cover here,” Dvo­rak said. “We’ve got to forget about the game tonight and worry about tomorrow. We’ve got a chance to win a bronze medal, so we’ve got to give it all we’ve got.”

Dvo­rak opened the scor­ing at the 9:03 mark of the first pe­riod. He swat­ted in a cross-crease pass from line­mate Sonny Mi­lano.

“We started off pretty well,” Dvo­rak said. “I thought we played a pretty good, solid game to­day. We just didn’t get the bounces we needed. We ran into some penalty trou­ble. It stings, for sure.”

Kraskovski knocked in a re­bound from just out­side the crease to tie it 1-all for Rus­sia at 15:08 of the sec­ond pe­riod.

Kor­shkov gave Rus­sia the lead for good min­utes later, push­ing the puck be­tween Nedeljkovic’s foot and the near post.

In the other semi­fi­nal, Antti Kala­pu­das scored a sec­ond-pe­riod power-play goal to send Fin­land to its sec­ond cham­pi­onship fi­nal in three years.

The Finns beat host Swe­den 32 in the 2014 gold medal game.

Roope Hintz also scored and Kasperi Ka­pa­nen and team cap­tain Mikko Ran­ta­nen each added two as­sists for Fin­land. Kaapo Kahko­nen made 21 saves for Fin­land.

Ras­mus As­plund scored for Swe­den. Li­nus Soder­strom stopped 26 shots.

AP PHOTO

Rus­sian play­ers re­act af­ter beat­ing the United States 2-1 in semi­fi­nal ac­tion Mon­day at the world ju­nior hockey cham­pi­onship in Helsinki, Fin­land.

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