EH! OH! GO CANADA GO!
Canada’s quest to defend their gold medal lives on after defeating the United States 6-2 in the semi-final. Joshua Roy scored twice for the Canadians, including an empty net, and Thomas Milic stood strong between the pipes stopping 43 shots.
Despite the positive ending, it could not have been a worse start for Team Canada. After 11 minutes, the US had a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Logan Cooley and Kenny Connors. The Canadians struggled to generate anything five-on-five with no shots on goal until their first powerplay six minutes in. Much like he has all tournament, Connor Bedard bailed the Canadians out of their slump. A nice pass across from Ethan del Mastro was knocked home by Bedard on the doorstep of the US crease pulling the host nation back within one.
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Canada truly came alive in the second period. It took them only 47 seconds to get themselves back on level terms thanks to Logan Stankoven. Brandt Clarke had the initial shot which was then tucked home back by the Dallas Stars’ second-rounder. The scoring did not stop there. Adam Fantili got in on the action, giving Canada their first lead, and Joshua Roy buried his first of the game. Between the pipes, Milic was putting on one of the best goaltending displays by a Canadian this country has seen in a while, stopping all 15 shots by the US.
There was one controversial moment in the period. US forward, Jackson Blake, son of Jason Blake, had a goal disallowed for goaltender interference. There is no doubt he was in the blue paint. However, did Olen Zellweger push him into his goalie to create the contact? Either way, the goal did not count the question of what goaltender interference continues.
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Moving onto the final frame, the United States pushed but Canada withheld the attack. Canada got the insurance goal from Clarke midway through the period and Roy sealed the victory with an empty netter. There was another US goal disallowed but there was no disputing that one.
Now, the Canadians have a date with Czechia, who beat them at the start of the tournament. However, if Czechia expects to see that same team that they played that night they have got another thing coming. This team has come a long way since that Boxing Day matchup, and in tomorrow’s final, they will look to prove that.