Team Canada is set to meet Team Russia at the first of two semifinal games at the world junior men’s hockey championship in Edmonton today.
The winner will play in Tuesday night’s gold-medal game against the winner of the second semifinal matchup between Finland and the United States.
The losers of both semifinal games will play in the bronze-medal game, also scheduled for Tuesday.
Canada — the reigning champs — and Russia played each other in a pre-tournament game back on Dec. 23.
Jamie Drysdale scored the lone goal of the game in a 1-0 Canada victory.
Canada blanked the Czechs in a 3-0 quarterfinal win while Russia edged Germany 2-1.
Both teams also met in last year’s gold-medal game in the Czech Republic, where Canada defeated Russia 4-3. Canada erased a 3-1 deficit in the third period en route to their 18th gold medal win all-time.
In the other semifinal, the Americans will meet Finland. The United States reached the semifinal thanks to a 5-2 win over Slovakia on Saturday night, thanks in part to a pair of goals from John Farinacci. The Finns needed a game-winning goal from Roni Hirvonen with fewer than 30 seconds to play to eliminate the Swedes in quarterfinal play to advance to the next round.
Canada hopes to be the first repeat champion since 2009, a year in which they captured their fifth consecutive gold medal.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2021.