Canada beat USA 4-3 Saturday, setting up a gold medal match against Finland. The game, pitting Buffalo Sabres teammates Ryan O’Reilly and Sam Reinhart of Canada against Jake McCabe and Hudson Fasching of Team USA was very close.
Team Canada came out strong, staking a 2-0 lead in the first period. Team USA started the second with a power play that carried over from the first, and they didn’t waste time getting back in the game. Auston Matthews ripped a slapshot over Talbot’s glove at 1:14 to make it 2-1, but the U.S. was only just beginning.
Less than three minutes later, they tied the game when David Warsofsky wired a shot to the top corner over Talbot’s shoulder, and then at 8:25 they took the lead, 3-2. After receiving a sweet pass from Dylan Larkin, Tyler Motte fired one high beating Talbot.
Canada tied the game on a late power play goal. O’Reilly batted a puck out of mid air off the pad of U.S. goalie Keith Kinkaid, creating a rebound that Derrick Brassard was able to tap into an open net. Ryan Ellis scored the game winner just 1:34 into the third period.
Canada, last year’s champions, now has a chance to repeat while Finland is trying to make history as the first country to win U18 gold, U20 gold, and World Championship gold in the same season. Interestingly, Finland beat Canada 4-0 in the preliminary round. The gold medal game is slated for 1:15 p.m. EST.
Team USA will fight for its second-straight bronze medal against Russia at 9:15 a.m. EST on Sunday. Russia – featuring NHL stars such as Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Pavel Datsyuk – fell to Finland 3-1 in their semifinal matchup on Saturday.
Ryan O’Reilly had one assist and 3 SOG while skating 19:56.
Sam Reinhart had one assist and 1 SOG while seeing only 5:53 of ice time.
Hudson Fasching had one assist and 2 SOG in 15:47 of action.
Jake McCabe played solid defense, with one SOG in 17:45 of ice time. After the game, McCabe was named as one of the top three U.S. players of the tournament (along with Matthews and Connor Murphy).