Canada secures spot in final on strength of Cole Perfetti’s 3 SO goals

Cole Perfetti scored two goals in regulation and three more in a shootout as Canada edged Sweden 3-2 in a semifinal at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup on Friday.

The win sends Canada to the final of the annual under-18 men’s hockey tournament, where it will face Russia. Canada has won the tournament 10 of the past 11 years.

Russia beat Finland 4-1 in the other semifinal.

Canada coach Michael Dyck used Perfetti for the final three rounds of the shootout after it was tied following five rounds. He scored on two of the three.

“I was going to put him out there as many times as it was going to take,” Dyck said.

“He was feeling it, he obviously has a lot of confidence and those are big, big shots when we had our backs against the wall. That’s the kind of player he is, he never seems to get rattled. He is very poised, very composed and obviously very confident.”

Perfetti, a native of Whitby, Ont., had five goals and two assists in three games in the first round of the tournament.

Daniel Ljungman and Hugo Styf scored for Sweden.

Canada outshot Sweden 41-23.

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