LEKSAND, Sweden (CP) - Canada advanced to the final of the world junior hockey championship with a 2-1 shootout win over the U.S. in Wednesday's semifinal.
Canada, winner of the last two titles, will meet the winner of Wednesday's later semifinal between Russia and host Sweden in Friday's championship game.
Jonathan Toews of the University of North Dakota scored three times in the shootout, including the winning goal.
Canadian goaltender Carey Price stopped U.S. forward Peter Mueller after Toews's final goal to end the shootout 5-4 in favour of the defending champions.
"It was certainly a roller-coaster ride, that shootout," said Canadian head coach Craig Hartsburg. "I've never been through anything like that, ever."
Bryan Little of the Barrie Colts and Michigan's Andrew Cogliano also scored in extra shots.
"No Canadian team wants to play for a bronze medal," said Cogliano.
Price, of the Tri-City Americans, was outstanding in overtime as he stopped all 12 shots he faced. He turned away 34 of 35 shots in regulation and overtime, while U.S. counterpart Jeff Frazee made 26 saves on 27 shots before the shootout.
"He's so calm and laid-back in the net," Cogliano said of Price. "He does a great job of staying big and making the easy save."
Moncton Wildcats defenceman Luc Bourdon scored a power-play goal at 12:19 of the third period to deadlock the game 1-1.
U.S. captain Taylor Chorney scored a power-play goal at 5:04 of the second period, putting Canada behind for the first time in the tournament.
The U.S. had less than 24 hours to recover from their quarter-final win over Finland the previous night, while the Canadians hadn't played since their round-robin win over Slovakia on Sunday.
CP player of the game: Carey Price. Canada's goaltender stole the win for his uptight team by stopping 34 of 35 shots, including all 12 in overtime when the U.S. had a four-on-three power-play. Then came the shootout where the Montreal Canadiens' draft pick ended it in the seventh round by shutting down American forward Peter Mueller.