UFA, Russia – The United States earned a berth in the 2013 World Junior final following their commanding 5-1 victory over Team Canada on Thursday.

Captain Jake McCabe opened the scoring for the United States, blasting a shot by a screened Malcolm Subban, giving the Americans an early 1-0 lead.

McCabe then recorded his second goal of the game with 3:58 remaining in the first period, extending the United States lead to 2-0. McCabe concluded the game with three points (2G, 1A) and also earned player of the game honours for his tremendous offensive performance.

John Gaudreau added to the USA lead with a wonderful toe-drag goal at the 2:58 mark of the second period.

Jim Vesey scored ten minutes later, putting the United States comfortably ahead 4-0. Vesey’s first goal of the tournament also ended Malcolm Subban’s semi-final as Steve Spott pulled the 19-year-old and inserted Jordan Binnington into the game. Subban allowed four goals on sixteen shots in less than two periods of play. Binnington made 17 saves after entering the game in relief of Subban.

“It was difficult (out there). I didn’t see the puck on the first two goals. We battled hard. We have to try to remain focused and bring back a bronze medal for our country,” commented Canadian goaltender Malcolm Subban following the loss.

Canada finally got on the board early in the third period as Ty Rattie scored a shorthanded goal to cut the United States lead to 4-1. Rattie buried his own rebound after hitting the crossbar on his initial shot. The play was originally ruled no goal as the referee sounded his whistle prior to the puck crossing the goal line. However, upon further review, the officials awarded Canada its first goal of the hockey game.

John Gaudreau ended all of Canada’s comeback hopes with his tournament-leading seventh goal of the World Juniors at the 15:41 mark of the third period. Gaudreau finished the game with three points (2G, 1A) in the 5-1 American victory.

John Gibson was sensational in the United States victory. Gibson made 39 saves including 15 in the third period as he successfully preserved the 5-1 win.

The United States defeated the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday to earn their semi-final matchup with Canada.

Canada had won eight of the last nine meetings against the U.S. at the World Juniors prior to Thursday's semi-final.

With the United States off to the World Junior final for the first time since 2010, Team Canada will now play Russia in the bronze medal game on Saturday. 

- Daniele Franceschi -

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