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USA vs. Canada score, 2013 WJC semifinal: Gaudreau, Vesey add to American lead

Johnny Gaudreau and Jim Vesey scored and the USA defense held strong in front of goalie John Gibson. The Americans are 20 minutes from defeating Canada and heading to the gold medal game.

Bruce Bennett

Despite a rough first period, nobody doubted Team Canada's ability to come out in the second period and erase a two-goal deficit. They're the most talented offensive team in the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship and they have an ability to score seemingly at will.

But in this semifinal match against the United States, they're head-to-head against probably the best defensive squad in the tournament, and that continued to show in the second period. Canada was unable to get its transition game going again, the American defense did a phenomenal job of beating the Canadians to loose pucks and getting in passing lanes, and the goaltending of John Gibson continued to be stellar.

Using the strong defense as a foundation, the USA has been able to create chances in transition, and the Canadian defense on the other end has not been up to the task. Johnny Gaudreau continued his recent hot streak 2:58 into the second period to make the score 3-0, and Jim Vesey forced goaltender Malcolm Subban out of the game 12:44 into the period with a shot that rose over the blocker-hand side.

Canada simply can't keep up with the Americans in any zone, and it's going to take a big effort and a collapse by both Gibson and the USA defense in the third for them to escape this semifinal with a victory. Gibson and the USA defense, by the way, have yet to allow a goal in the medal round. 20 minutes to go.

Follow along with our live coverage of Canada vs. USA in the 2013 WJC semifinal.