The United States defeated Canada 5-1 on Thursdai in the semifinals of the World Junior Hockey championships in Ufa, Russia.

Team USA will play Sweden on Saturday in the gold medal game.

Canada will play Russia for the bronze.

The website quoted U.S. coach Phil Housley saying: "We got the start we wanted, scoring the all-important first goal. 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. We're going to enjoy this win tonight and then start thinking about the gold medal game tomorrow."

Team USA took a 2-0 lead in the first period on two goals by Jake McCabe and expanded its lead to 4-0 in the second period.

Goalie John Gibson made 33 saves for the winners.

The game will be rebroadcast on the NHL Network at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

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