Jerry D’Amigo scored two goals, the second short-handed, and the United States beat Sweden 5-2 on Sunday night in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to set up a championship game showdown Tuesday night against rival Canada in the world junior championship.
In the first semifinal, Taylor Hall scored twice and Jake Allen made 20 saves in five-time defending champion Canada’s 6-1 victory over Switzerland.
The United States reached the championship game for the first time since beating Canada in the 2004 final in Finland. On Thursday night in the Group A finale, Canada rallied to beat the United States 5-4 in a shootout. The title game is Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Tyler Johnson of the Spokane Chiefs, John Carlson and A.J. Jenks also scored for the Americans, and Mike Lee made 27 saves. Anton Lander scored twice for Sweden.
Carlson broke a 2-2 tie with 7:26 left when his shot from the blue line bounced under goalie Jacob Markstrom. D’Amigo added a short-handed goal with 3:28 left.
Swedish captain Marcus Johansson received a major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing D’Amigo in the head early in the third, but Sweden managed to kill off the lengthy penalty before the U.S. pulled ahead on Carlson’s goal.
In the first semifinal, Marco Scandella scored short-handed, and Jordan Eberle, Brayden Schenn and Stefan Della Rovere added goals to help Canada reach the final for the ninth straight year.
“It’s very special,” Hall said. “When you’re put in that position, you do everything you can to achieve it. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for us, just to get to the final. To win that sixth goal medal would be unbelievable.”
Eberle had a power-play goal in the first period to tie John Tavares’ career Canadian goals record with 12.
Chiefs rally past Thunderbirds
The Spokane Chiefs scored three unanswered goals in the second period to overcome a two-goal deficit and beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 3-2 in Western Hockey League action in Kent, Wash.
Steve Kuhn cut Seattle’s early 2-0 lead in half at 3:26 of the second period. Ryan Letts tied it for Spokane (23-13-3) at 14:33 on a redirect of a Brett Bartman shot before Kenton Miller scored the game-winner on a rebound for the Chiefs at 18:48. Jared Spurgeon recorded assists on two of the goals as Spokane won its second in a row.
Seattle outshot Spokane 39-28 but goaltender Michael Tadjdeh had 37 saves to pick up the win for the Chiefs.
Spokane opens a three-game homestand Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Saskatoon.
Braves double up Rebels
Uriah Machuga scored twice and added an assist, and Nick Redding scored a goal and had three helpers as the Spokane Braves beat the Castlegar Rebels 4-2 at Eagles Ice-A-Rena.
Joel Stewart also scored for Spokane, and Cash Ulrich made 29 saves.