2023 IIHF World Junior Championship

2023 World Juniors: Canada Beats USA In Semis To Advance To Gold-Medal Game

2023 World Juniors: Canada Beats USA In Semis To Advance To Gold-Medal Game

Canada rode a three-goal second period to the win, sending USA to the bronze-medal game.

Jan 5, 2023 by Chris Peters
2023 World Juniors: Canada Beats USA In Semis To Advance To Gold-Medal Game

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- The U.S. National Junior Team got the start they wanted against Canada, but not the finish as the Canadians rode a three-goal second period to an eventual 6-2 win in front of a record crowd of 10,636 in Scotiabank Centre. Canada advanced to play Czechia in the gold-medal game, earning the chance to win their second consecutive gold medal.

On top of the Canadian scoring attack that broke the game open, the U.S. had two separate goals disallowed for goaltender interference -- one in the second period and another in the first minute of the third period. Any wind in the U.S. sails from those sparks was lost by the video review rulings.

The U.S. started with a two-goal lead, thanks to early goals from Logan Cooley (ARI) and Kenny Connors (LAK). They seemingly controlled the first period, holding Canada without a shot for nearly the entire first half of the opening stanza. 

Team USA relented the momentum after Canada scored on a perfectly-executed faceoff play that sprung Connor Bedard (2023), who scored his tournament-leading ninth goal, from the net-front. That cut the deficit to one goal and brought the life right back into the Scotiabank Centre.

Canada started hot in the second period, with another goal off of a faceoff win, this time with Logan Stankoven (DAL) providing the finish. Just 47 seconds into the middle frame, the game was tied and Canada started really finding their legs. 

Shortly after a big penalty kill for Canada, the U.S. got lost on a backcheck, allowing Adam Fantilli (2023) to swoop in down the wing and redirect a Zach Dean (VGK) pass past U.S. netminder Trey Augustine (2023) to make it 3-2, sending the crowd into hysterics.

The U.S. answered with an apparent goal from Jackson Blake (CAR), but the referees ruled that he made contact with Canadian goalie Thomas Milic before scoring the goal upon video review. Joshua Roy (MTL) scored shortly after on another U.S. defensive break down, chipping a Stankoven pass up and over Augustine to make it 4-2.

In the third period, Team USA provided a strong push and appeared to get one back when Rutger McGroarty (WPG) shoved a puck through Milic within the first minute of the third period. Milic, however, was ruled to be interfered with as McGroarty shoved his pad with his stick.

Canada scored twice more including a Roy empty-netter to make it 6-2 and send Canada to the final in style.

Milic finished with 43 saves and was named Canada's player of the game.

Canada will be going for their 20th gold medal at the World Juniors in Thursday's final against Czechia. They'll also be looking to avenge their opening-night loss to the Czechs, who earned their spot in the final in a dramatic overtime win over Sweden.

The U.S. will meet Sweden for the bronze medal at 2:30 p.m. ET, while Canada will take on Czechia at 6:30 p.m. ET. 

Stay tuned for a full U.S. game breakdown coming soon on FloHockey.