Russia scored two second period goals to push past USA 2-1 in a 2016 World Junior Championship semifinal match at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland Monday.
The Russians will play in the gold-medal match against Finland, while the Americans will compete for bronze versus Sweden. Both games are on Tuesday.
Pavel Kraskovsky scored the game-tying goal on a rebound attempt at 15:08 of the second period.
Just 2:48 later, Yegor Korshkov tallied the beautiful game-winner for the Russians. Korshkov spun around Anders Bjork and overpowered Zach Werenski to the net before stuffing the puck past Alex Nedeljkovic on the short-side.
USA had two power play opportunities to begin the third period, but Russia’s tournament leading penalty kill, which has allowed just one goal in 19 shorthanded situations, held strong.
Russia’s defense rose to the occasion again in the final two minutes of the game, turning away all USA chances while having an extra attacker.
Ilya Samsonov was solid in net, stopping 26 of 27 in just his second start of the tournament.
Nedeljkovic did everything conceivable to keep USA in the game, making 31 saves, but came out with a loss.
Christian Dvorak scored USA’s only goal at 9:03 of the first period. Sonny Milano fed a cross-crease pass to Dvorak on the backdoor for the score.
Russia’s victory marks the second year in-a-row they have defeated USA in the playoff round.
Follow Colin Fitts on Twitter, @FittsTHW.