Canada brushes US aside
Russia awaits for gold medal
BUFFALO — One video clip was all Curtis Hamilton and his Canadian teammates needed to see for motivation to beat the United States in the semifinals of the World Junior Hockey Championships.
The clip, used by Canadian cable channel The Sports Network to promote its coverage, featured the United States winning the gold medal in overtime against Canada last year. There was no way the Canadians would let it happen again.
“It lit a little fire under us,’’ Canada captain Ryan Ellis said. “All the guys that were bashing us in the media saying how we’re not skilled and we’re underdogs, I think that helped us, too. So thanks for that.’’
Mark Visentin made 22 saves in a 4-1 win over the United States last night and Canada got goals from Hamilton, Quinton Howden, Ryan Johansen, and Zack Kassian to earn a matchup with Russia tomorrow night in the gold-medal game.
Russia beat Sweden, 4-3, in a shootout earlier, with Denis Golubev scoring the deciding goal.
The United States will face Sweden for the bronze, seeking its first medal on home soil. The US hosted the tournament four previous times.
Chris Brown spoiled Visentin’s shutout bid with a power-play goal with 10:23 remaining. Jack Campbell made 37 saves for Team USA, which fell to 6-28-3 against Canada in tournament play.
Hamilton struck first, converting a rebound 2:38 into the game after Campbell made a diving save on Hamilton’s backhander. With 6:06 left, Howden tapped in a nice feed from Brett Connolly to put Canada up 2-0.
“We cycled, we crashed and banged,’’ Visentin said. “It was basically everything we tried to do and we forced our will on the other team.’’
About five minutes into the second period, Visentin stopped a wrist shot by Nick Bjugstad on the game’s first power play. Johansen scored about a minute later, with the US team down two men.
Russia 4, Sweden 3 — Golubev scored in regulation and added the decisive shootout goal for Russia.
Vladimir Tarasenko and Sergei Kalinin also scored, and Dmitri Shikin made 46 saves.