Wednesday, January 4, 2017

U.S. to Play for Gold After Edging Russia

Troy Terry (Denver) scored three times in the shootout to lift the U.S. National Junior Team to a 4-3 victory over Russia in a 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship semifinal game at the Bell Centre in Montreal. It was the first time ever that the U.S. had defeated Russia in the medal round in WJC play.

Colin White (Boston College) scored twice in regulation for Team USA, giving him six goals in six games this tournament, with his second goal lifting the U.S. to a 3-2 lead late in the second period. Russia forced overtime with a third-period tally, after holding leads of 1-0 and 2-1 over the first 40 minutes. Luke Kunin (Wisconsin) scored a second period power-play goal for the U.S., which also got two assists on the day from Clayton Keller (Boston University).

Tyler Parsons made 33 saves for the Americans (6-0-0), which outshot Russia, 40-36, over regulation and a scoreless 10-minute overtime period that initiated the shootout. The U.S. then outscored Russia, 4-3, over the extra session, with former Boston College forward Jeremy Bracco getting the other American shootout goal to keep the U.S. effort alive at the time. Terry scored on all three of his shootout attempts, including two in a row, as international rules dictate that shooters can repeat after the first five shootout attempts have been conducted if there is no winner to that point.

Parsons was named the American MVP for the game, while Keller, White and Jordan Greenway (Boston University) were tabbed as Team USA's top players of the tournament. The Americans will now play the winner of Sweden-Canada on Thursday in Montreal for the gold medal (8 p.m. ET, NHL Network). The U.S., which will medal for the fifth time in eight WJC tournaments, last finished first in WJC competition in 2013 in Ufa, Russia.

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