Team Canada is set to play for their sixth consecutive gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament after they defeated Russia 3-1 Friday.
It didn’t take Canada long to get going – just 39 seconds into the period – as Spencer Watson broke into the Russian zone with speed and took the puck towards the Russian goal. A Russian defender tried to knock the puck out of harm’s way but ended up poking it into his own goal. Brayden Point and Daniel Audette were credited with assists.
With 40 seconds remaining in the opening period, Sam Bennett would score a powerplay marker with the assists going to Watson and Michael Dal Colle. Canada would outshoot Russia 10-5 in the period. Russia had 3 powerplay opportunities to Canada’s two.
Russia finally got on the board at the 15:01 into the second period Damir Sharipzyanov fired a wrister top corner while the Russians were enjoying a powerplay. Radel Fazleyev would get the lone assist. Canada would outshoot Russia once again, this time by a margin of 15-5. Both teams would get two powerplays.
Russia would enter the third looking for the equalizer but could only muster 3 shots on Julio Billia while Canada registered 8. Clark Bishop would seal it with an unassisted empty net goal with 1:02 remaining.
In other action, Sweden trounced Slovakia 11-0 to take 7th place, Finland beat Switzerland 4-3 in a shootout to claim fifth place. The United States beat the Czech Republic 5-3 and will now face Canada for Gold while the Czechs take on the Russians for Bronze.
Both games are on Saturday.