Defenseman Jake McCabe and forward John Gaudreau each scored two goals as the U.S. team stunned Canada 5-1 on Thursday in the semifinals of the IIHF World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia.
McCabe, a sophomore at Wisconsin from Eau Claire, scored twice in the opening period to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead over Canada, one of the tournament favorites. Gaudreau, a sophomore forward at Boston College, scored a goal early in the second period to make it 3-0 U.S. and had the team's final goal on a breakaway with 4:19 to play. Gaudreau has seven goals in the World Junior tournament, all in the past three games.
The U.S. team will play Sweden at 7 a.m. Saturday for the gold medal. The Swedes beat Russia 3-2 in a penalty shootout in the other semifinal, with Sebastian Collberg scoring the winner.
Canada was 4-0 in the tournament and had beaten the U.S. 2-1 on Sunday in the Group B preliminary round. But the rematch was much different; the U.S. team outshot Canada 42-34 and committed only three penalties.
"We wanted to dictate the pace of the game early and we were able to do that and then it carried into the second period," said Phil Housley, the head coach of the U.S. team who is from South St. Paul.
McCabe scored his first goal at 7:18 of the opening period. "I'm so proud of my team," McCabe said. "This was the best game of the tournament for us."
Gophers freshman defense-man Mike Reilly had one of the assists on the play.
Jim Vesey had the other goal for the U.S. in the second period. Ty Rattie scored Canada's only goal short-handed early in the third period.
"The defense played really well, which made my job a lot easier," said John Gibson, who stopped 33 shots for the U.S.