CALGARY -- Trailing 5-1 heading into the third period, Canada has inched to within a goal of Russia in semifinal action at the World Junior Championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Canadians now trails 6-5 with four minutes remaining.
Dougie Hamilton converted a cross-crease pass from Mark Scheifele at 9:20. It was the first power-play goal Russia's allowed in the tournament.
Captain Jaden Schwartz struck in the same minute, cutting the lead to 6-3 after banking the puck in off Grigon Zheldakov at 9:43 of the third period.
Brendan Gallagher made it 6-4 after deflecting a point shot from Hamilton and Brandon Gormley's seeing-eye shot from the point has brought Canada to within a goal of tying the Russians.
Nikita Kucherov gave Russia a 6-1 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the third period.
Ignat Zemchenko stepped out of the box to set up a two-on-one with Mikhail Grigorenko. Zemchenko fed Grigorenko, who lost control of the puck cutting across the crease. Streaking in, Kucherov tapped the puck into a virtually empty net at 7:54.
Russia exploded for a three-goal second period to extend its lead to 5-1 against Canada.
Though Canada got on the board just 2:37 into the period to cut Russia's lead to 2-1, Yevgeni Kuznetsov answered with two goals of his own before setting up the third to give Russia a four-goal lead heading into the second intermission.
Kuznetsov scored goals 4:24 apart, first letting go a shot that hit the stick of a Canadian defenseman before going over the glove of starting goalie Scott Wedgewood, then beating Wedgewood again with a deke in alone.
After Kuznetsov's second goal, Yaroslav Kosov ploughed into Wedgewood, who had to leave the game with an injury.
Mark Visentin, the goaltender on record in the gold medal loss to Russia a year ago, didn't fare any better in relief.
Khokhlachev scored 1:48 later after Kuznetsov circled the net and found him alone in the slot for a power play goal to make it 5-1.
Russia opened the scoring in the first period. Kuznetsov took a pass from Nail Yakupov in the slot 7:26. Nikita Nesterov added to the lead at 14:01, the 2-0 lead Russia enjoyed heading into the second period.
If Russia is able to hold on through the game’s final 20 minutes, it will meet Sweden in the gold-medal game on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Sweden holds an overtime victory against Russia in a New Year's Eve classic last Saturday night.