Canada draws U.S. in world junior semis
Canada will have a chance to break the heart of the United States for the second time in a week and ruin its gold-medal hopes at the world junior hockey championship.
The Americans earned a date with the two-time defending champions in Wednesday's semifinals (10 a.m. ET) following their 6-3 quarter-final victory over Finland in Mora, Sweden, on Tuesday.
The other semifinal (1:30 p.m. ET) features Russia against the host Swedes, who defeated the Czech Republic 5-1 in Tuesday's other quarter-final in Leksand.
In the preliminary round, Jonathan Toews and Darren Helm scored two goals apiece for Canada in a 6-3 home win against the U.S. on Dec. 27.
"They're a pretty dangerous team," Canadian defenceman Marc Staal said of the Americans, who boast seven NHL first-round draft picks.
"They have a lot of skilled players and you always have to be on your toes.
"If we play simple and play our game and limit our turnovers against them, that's where we're going to be successful."
Canada, which won Group A with a 4-0-0 record,earned a bye tothe semifinals after blanking Slovakia 3-0 on Sunday.
The Canadians have been led by a smothering defence — four goals allowed in four games —and goaltender Carey Price, a Montreal Canadiens prospect.
Forward James Neal will suit up Wednesday after missing Sunday's game with a sore groin.
The U.S. (2-1-1-1) squeezed into the medal round on Sunday when defenceman Jack Johnson notched the winning goal at 3:16 of overtime for a 3-2 decision over Sweden.
Despite a superior record at this year's tourney, Canadawill not be the home teamWednesday.
Three straight goals
An International Ice Hockey Federation bylaw states that if "the teams play each other in any further round again, the home team will be reversed."
On Tuesday, Jack Skille deflected a shot from Erik Johnson on a power play 23 seconds into the third period to give the Americans a 3-2 lead, but Finland's Oskar Osala tied it a minute later.
The U.S. then reeled off three straight goals, capitalizing on three 5-on-3 power plays, starting with Peter Mueller's winner nearly eight minutes into the period.
Trevor Lewis and Jack Johnson closed the scoring for the Americans, while Erik Johnson and Patrick Kane—Tuesday's player of the game —also found the net.
In Leksand, Sweden scored three unanswered goals to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2001 at the world juniors.
With files from the Canadian Press