Russia exploded for a three-goal second period to extend its lead to 5-1 against Canada in semifinal action in the World Junior Championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
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.
, 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 the Russians are able to hold on through the game's final 20 minutes, they'll 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.