Hockey

Canadian goalie Mason to start in world junior semifinal

Canada will stick with Steve Mason in goal for Friday's semifinal game against the United States at the world junior hockey championship in the Czech Republic, Canadian coach Craig Hartsburg said Thursday.

Canada will stick with Steve Mason in goal for Friday's semifinal game against the United States at the world junior hockey championship in the Czech Republic.

In making the announcement Thursday, Canadian head coach Craig Hartsburg conceded that Mason wasn't at the top of his game in Wednesday's 4-2 quarter-final win over Finland, but he wanted to keep the team's netminding situation consistent rather than alternate between Mason and Jonathan Bernier.

Mason, a Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick, made 21 saves against the Finns for his third win of the tournament, but allowed a couple of ugly goals.

Juuso Puustinen caught Mason napping early in the first period, beating the London Knights goalie with a fluttering wrist shot from the blue-line that Mason said deflected off a Canadian defender.

Jan-Mikael Juutilainen tied the game at 2-2 in the third period by banking in a shot off Mason's right pad from behind the goal line.

Canada, though, prevailed, as forward Brad Marchand netted the go-ahead goal midway through the third and Stefan Legein clinched the win with an empty-netter.

If Canada can get past the U.S. on Friday (2 p.m. ET), it will meet the winner of the Russia-Sweden semifinal in Saturday's gold-medal game (2 p.m. ET).

With files from the Canadian Press