Canada has advanced to the gold-medal hockey game of the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

The collection of teenagers fought off a valiant Finland squad with a nail-biting 4-3 shootout win in the semifinals Friday in Lillehammer, Norway.

Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Ryan Merkley scored in the shootout, while Canadian goalie Alexis Gravel stopped both of Finland's shots.

Canada will play the United States in the finals on Sunday, after the Americans beat Russia 3-0 in the other semifinal match.

The event will be streamed live on at 9 a.m. ET.

Canada will play for gold for the first time at the Youth Olympics.

The Canadians rallied throughout game against Finland, first erasing a 2-0 deficit in the opening two periods, and then tying the game at 3-3 after Groulx scored on the power play in the third. 

"My defencemen helped me a lot," said Gravel."It is a team game and we all earned [this win]. We have to be focused and ready for Sunday."

Canada beat Finland 5-1 in the preliminary round but struggled to find its groove early as the team drew the first six penalties of the game.

"The penalty trouble was a surprise for us, and we need to be more disciplined," said Canadian head coach Martin Raymond. "We had way too many stick penalties and we got into trouble. We knew it was going to be a tough game and it was good to see us come back. Our power play came through at the end to tie it up. The guys did a great job."

Here's how other Canadian athletes fared on Friday:


Ladies' slopestyle

  • Baily McDonald (Barrie, Ont.), 6th

Alpine skiing

Men's slalom

  • Ryan Moffat (Kelowna, B.C.), 24th
  • Justin Alkier (Barrie, Ont.), DSQ  



  • Laura Vargas (Calgary), 18th


  • Zachary Lipinski (Leduc, Alta.), 17th

With files from Hockey Canada