One of the most exciting games in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship history ended with the United States advancing to the gold medal game for just the fifth time in the country’s history.
Team USA used two goals from Troy Terry in the shootout to seal a 4-3 win over Russia in the semi-final on Wednesday. The victory was the Americans’ second over Russia in the tournament.
Colin White scored twice in the win. Denis Gurianov scored twice in the game and twice in the shootout in Russia’s elimination.
The United States will play either Canada or Sweden in the gold medal game on Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. ET in the Bell Centre in Montreal. TV information is listed here. Russia will play the loser of Canada-Sweden for the bronze medal at 3:30 p.m. ET before the gold medal game.
Russia has earned a medal in six consecutive World Juniors.
The semi-final game began with a quick pace, but Russia gained two of the earliest scoring chances. USA goalie Tyler Parsons stopped a back-hander from Russian winger Denis Gurianov minutes into the game, but he lost the puck on a Kirill Kaprizov wrap-around attempt midway through the period.
Kaprizov gives Russia an early 1-0 lead pic.twitter.com/T9tO8lsser— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
It was Kaprizov’s eighth goal of the tournament and the 26th point for Russia’s top line. Russia’s goalie had a brain freeze of his own just as the first period ended, however.
Clayton Keller whips the puck on net and somehow ties it up for USA. Horrible goal for Samsonov to give up. pic.twitter.com/Gsm0Xn0h9i— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
The goal would ultimately be changed to belong to Colin White.
Russia re-took the lead less than three minutes into the second period. Gurianov finally cashed in off a rebound, beating Parsons for his second tournament goal and a 2-1 Russia lead.
Gurianov puts Russia back on top 2-1 pic.twitter.com/ow1xAUcFFs— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
When Yakov Trenin went off for slashing, the United States immediately cashed in. Captain Luke Kunin finished off a gorgeous passing sequence by Jeremy Bracco and Jordan Greenway. It was Kunin’s second goal of the tournament.
Another look at Kunin's power play goal pic.twitter.com/UdgRaWT4MM— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
After Kunin’s goal, the United States began buzzing around the Russian net. After killing a penalty, the USA took a 3-2 lead when Colin White’s shot was deflected into Samsonov’s net.
Colin White gives USA the 3-2 lead pic.twitter.com/pwVOSbyG6q— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
A minute after Clayton Keller’s penalty shot was denied by Samsonov in the third period, Gurianov slipped the puck under Parsons on the breakaway for the game-tying goal. Gurianov was arguably the best player for either team on Wednesday.
Guryanov with the goal to tie it for Russia pic.twitter.com/OrQQZsqGBj— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
The game flew into overtime, and the United States gave up a couple of high-grade chances. Their highest-grade chance, however, didn’t go in because of ... magic.
Great chance for USA doesn’t go pic.twitter.com/kijv3gf6OY— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
The shootout went past the obligatory five rounds and ended when Troy Terry dangled his way to a game-winner.