Canada easily defeated Russia 5-0 to reach the final of the World Junior Hockey Championship on Monday in the Edmonton bubble.
Alex Newhook, Connor McMichael, Cole Perfetti, Braden Schneider and Dylan Cozens – in an empty net – scored the goals for Canada. Cozens also added two assists. Schneider finished the game with two points, as did Quebecer Jakob Pelletier.
Goalkeeper Devon Levi posted a second straight shutout – his third of the tournament – blocking 28 shots from the Russians. Yaroslav Arkamov was faltering in the first half of the game, then recovered to end the game with 34 saves.
With his three points, Cozens momentarily edged American Trevor Zegras at the top of the tournament scorers with 16 points.
The United States play the other semi-final at the end of the evening against the Finns.
Canada started the game with a bang. From the first minute of play, he buzzed around the net defended by Askarov. Newhook, well posted to the left of the keeper, beat him with a precise shot in the upper part. But no one saw him.
The disc quickly came out of the net to the keeper’s right and play continued for a few seconds, until the minor officials interrupted the match so that referee Olivier Gouin could not see the video replay. After a brief hiatus, it was confirmed that the puck hit the crossbar in the back of the net and thereby Newhook’s third goal of the tournament.
Halfway through the period, Canada doubled its lead thanks to a fourth in the competition from McMichael, who completed an intense streak by capping the game orchestrated by Cozens and Pelletier.
Canada gave themselves a three-goal priority before the end of the first period. Taking advantage of a minor double to the Russian captain, Vasili Podkolzin, who had carried his too high stick to the place of Bowen Byram, Perfetti made it 3-0. Goalkeeper Askarov has already looked better, the puck beating him under his right arm. Cozens collected his second point of the game on this goal.
After Canada went 4-0 in the start of the second on another largesse from Askarov, the Russians believed they had scored on the score during a power play. Mikhail Abramov’s goal was disallowed, however, after Canada challenged the Russians’ entry 40 seconds earlier. The Russians were however in the wrong by a few millimeters and the goal was denied to them.
Cozens had the opportunity to momentarily take the lead in the tournament scoring with 30 seconds left in the middle period, when he was awarded a penalty shot following Artemi Knyazev’s crash. The Canadian forward, however, lost control of the disc by making a final feint and the score remained 4-0.
The Canadian striker did not miss the second opportunity offered to him at the end of the game, when on a two-on-one, Pelletier handed him the disc instead of throwing.
Canada will face the winner of the US-Finland duel on Tuesday, starting at 9:30 pm EST.