2016 World Junior Championship Semi Final Recap: Finns Top Swedes, Russia Beats USA
The battle for the gold medal will be an European affair at the 2016 World Junior Championship.
The two semi finals saw a Nordic matchup between Sweden and Finland as well as the classic USA-Russia matchup.
Sweden 1 - Finland 2
Sweden entered the semi final with a perfect record. They had won ever game they had played and breezed through the quarterfinals without much issue.
The Finns on the other hand had seen one defeat, against Russia, and the hosts were motivated by a desire to play for gold in front of their home crowd.
It was the Swedes who got on the board first, Rasmus Asplund getting what would be Sweden's only goal just over ten minutes into the first period.
The Swedes would take a pair of penalties early in the second period, one too many men on the ice and another for interference.
Just over halfway through the game Roope Hintz found himself in front of the net and was able to put an excellent pass from Mikko Rantanen into the net.
Just over a minute late the Swedes suffered another setback with Anton Karlsson taking a misconduct for a check to the head.
Antti Kalapadus would take advantage of the powerplay to put the Finns ahead 2-1. From there the Finns held on, sending themselves on to the final and a chance for their fourth World Junior title.
Russia 2 - USA 1
A pair of goals in less than three minutes was enough to end American hopes at winning the World Junior gold.
The Americans started off well, taking a 1-0 lead thanks to Christan Dvorak, less than ten minutes into the game. They held on to the lead despite getting themselves in penalty trouble near the end of the first period.
Things would be turned on their head however in the second period as the Russians struck quickly to seize the lead. Pavel Kraskovski tied up the game off a rebound during a scrum in front of the net.
Less than three minutes laters Yegor Korshkov would put the Russian's ahead on an unassisted goal that would prove to be the game winner.
The Americans piled on the pressure during the third period but were unable to take advantage of two power plays. Even after pulling goaltender, Alex Nedeljkovic, the Americans could not turn their pressure into goals.
This is the fifth straight World Junior Championship game that the Americans have lost to the Russians.
Whats on tomorrow?
Sweden versus USA 8am (Bronze Medal game)
Russia versus Finland 12.30pm (Gold Medal game)