Top 2015 NHL Draft prospect Dylan Strome had a hat trick as Canada beat the United States 11-5 on Friday in the semifinals of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in a game played at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia.
Canada will play the Czech Republic in the championship game Saturday. Canada has won the tournament in each of the past six years and 18 of the 23 times it's been held since 1991.
"We've got to go out and play our game," coach Jody Hull told Canadian Press. "If we can go out and play our game for 60 minutes, that's going to be the key. You've got to be ready for anything. So we're just going to enjoy this [Friday] and be focused and ready to go [Saturday]."
Travis Konecny had two goals for Canada and Mitchell Stephens and Jansen Harkins had one goal and two assists each. Goaltender Zachary Sawchenko allowed five goals on 29 shots.
Thomas Novak had two goals and an assist for the United States. Evan Sarthou started the game in goal but allowed five goals in 29:58 of action. His backup, Matthew Jurusik, allowed the final six goals. The U.S. was outshot 48-29 for the game.
Strome, a forward with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League and the younger brother of New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome, opened the scoring 50 seconds into the game. After Novak tied it, Strome put Canada ahead for good when scored off a set-up by linemate Mitchell Marner.
Harkins pushed Canada's lead to 3-1 with a shorthanded goal late in the first. Brock Boeser's goal 4:40 into the second got the U.S. back within one, but goals 1:43 apart by Mathew Barzal and Strome, to cap his hat trick, gave Canada a 5-2 lead midway through the second.
Tanner Laczynski scored for the U.S. at 11:00 of the second to make it 5-3, but Konecny, a forward with the Ottawa 67's of the OHL and Canada's captain, scored two goals in a 3:04 span to make it 7-3. Lawson Crouse scored with 35 seconds left to push the advantage to 8-3 after two periods.
Canada added to its lead in the third on goals by Adam Musil and Stephens. Karch Bachman and Novak scored for the U.S. in the second half of the third to make it 10-5. Travis Soy finished a 3-on-1 attack in the final minute to close the scoring.
The U.S. will play Sweden on Saturday in the bronze-medal game.
Czech Republic 4, Sweden 3: Roman Dymacek's second-period goal snapped a 2-2 tie and helped the Czechs advance to the championship game Saturday against Canada.
Michal Gago threw a puck into traffic in front of the Swedish net and Dymacek was able to bang it past goaltender Felix Sandstrom at 13:34 of the second.
Lukas Andel added a goal 1:52 later that held up as the game-winner.
Sweden's Jonathan Dahlen redirected a Linus Olund shot past Czech goalitender Daniel Vladar with 2:09 left in the second but that was as close as Sweden would get.
Filip Suchy and Daniel Krenzelok also had goals for the Czechs, and Vladar stopped 33 shots, including all 12 Sweden put on net in the third period.
Lucas Carlsson and Oliver Erixon also had goals for Sweden. Sandstrom made 30 saves in goal.
Sweden will play the United States on Saturday in the bronze-medal game.
Finland 9, Switzerland 3: Forward Sebastian Aho, a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, had three goals and an assist as Finland won the fifth-place game Friday.
The Finns took a 3-0 lead 4:50 into the game and led 5-0 on Julius Nattinen's goal 3:54 into the second period.
Switzerland scored goals 4:09 apart in the second, but Aho's second goal, off a 2-on-1 break, sparked a four-goal run that erased any hope of a Swiss comeback.
Russia 5, Slovakia 2: Kirill Kaprizov scored two goals in the first period and also had an assist as Russia won the seventh-place game.
The line of Kaprizov, Ivan Yemets and Dmitry Zhukenov combined for three goals and nine points. Yemets had one goal and two assists and Zhukenov had three assists.
Russia goalie Anton Krasotkin stopped 18 of 20 shots.