EDMONTON – Alex Newhook scored 59 seconds into the game and Devon Levi stopped 28 shots to help Canada advance to the championship of the world juniors with a 5-0 victory over Russia on Monday.
Connor McMichael, Cole Perfetti and Braden Schneider also scored, and Dylan Cozens added an empty netter for the defending champions. Levi had his third shutout of the tournament.
Russian goalie Yaroslav Askarov struggled to hang on to his stick at times and finished with 30 saves.
Canada will face the winner of the United States-Finland later Monday in the title game on Tuesday.
There were fears that
Newhook returned after suffering an upper-body injury in Canada’s final preliminary-round game against Finland last Thursday night. The Colorado Avalanche prospect missed Saturday’s quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic but looked healthy on Monday when he scored his third goal of the tournament on his first shift of the game.
Newhook’s shot hit the back bar of the net and popped back out before anyone on the ice knew it went in. Play continued until the goal horn was sounded and officials reviewed the video.
McMichael added to Canada’s lead midway through the first after a battle in front of the net resulted in Askarov misplacing his stick.
Jakob Pelletier sent a crisp pass to McMichael, who popped it in behind the Russian goalie to put Canada up 2-0.
A power-play goalfrom Perfetti widened the margin 15:05 into the first.
Less than five minutes into the second, Askarov lost his stick once again and Canada capitalized. Schneider took a long shot from the top of the face-off circle and beat the Russian goalie glove side. It was his first goal of the tournament.
Russia got on the board with less than three minutes to go in the second period, but it was disallowed after a challenge for an offside zone entry.
Cozens nearly added to the Canadian tally with just 30 seconds to go in the second period when the Buffalo Sabres prospect was awarded a penalty shot. But Askarov stopped Cozens’ backhand attempt with his skate.
Russia pushed hard in the third. Shakir Mukhamadullin came close to scoring midway through the frame, ringing a shot off the post.
Both teams went down to four men with just over four minutes left on the clock after Peyton Krebs and Zakhar Bardakov were called for roughing.
The Russians pulled Askarov with about three minutes to go, and Cozens buried the empty-net goal with 1:29 left on the clock.
The 19-year-old also had two assists in the game. With 16 points (eight goals, eight assists), Cozens leads the tournament in scoring.