Denmark will battle for a gold medal in their first ever attempt at the World Junior A Challenge after defeating Russia 5-1 on Thursday.

The Danes controlled action in the early stages of the first period, very similar to what happened when the two teams met during the preliminary round. Matthias Asperup gave Denmark the 1-0 lead just 2:58 into the game after picking up his rebound that came off of the crossbar before beating Anton Krasotkin for the go-ahead goal.

Neither team would score again in the first, but a quick rush in the second period saw Denmark extend their lead to three goals. After tournament star Nikolaj Ehlers skated up the ice and put the puck on net, Oliver Bjorkstrand picked up the loose puck before rifling it home for the 2-0 lead just three minutes into the second. A minute after, Nick Olesen made it 3-0 after some great passing between him, Mikkel Aagaard and Sonny Hertzberg for the beautiful goal.

Yegor Rykov got one back for Russia at the 10:42 mark of the second. With a delayed penalty for Denmark coming up, Rykov managed to beat George Sorensen to put Russia within two of their Danish opponents with half the game still to go.

The second period ended on a high note for the Danes. With a man on the penalty box, Jeppe Holmberg got a shorthanded marker to make it 4-1 Denmark heading into the third and final frame. The final twenty minutes saw an extra goal from Bjorkstrand with 20 seconds to go, meaning that Denmark had earned a birth into the World Junior A Challenge finals on Saturday afternoon, while Russia will battle for Bronze on Friday.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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