Despite playing their sixth game in eight days -- and third set of back-to-back games -- the United States remained the faster, more aggressive team and took a 4-0 lead after two periods in their semifinal game against Canada.
John Gaudreau and Jimmy Vesey scored as the United States extended its lead and moved within 20 minutes of playing for the gold medal.
Gaudreau, the hottest American player, scored his sixth goal in the last three games at 2:58 of the period. Gaudreau carried the puck out of his end and crossed the Canada blue line. He dragged the puck around Canada defenseman Ryan Murphy, using him as a screen, and fired a shot that beat Canada goalie Malcolm Subban.
Vesey made it 4-0 at 12:24 when he took a pass from Gaudreau, stepped around Canada's Xavier Ouellet and beat Subban to the far side, over his blocker.
That marked the end of Subban's game, as he was replaced by Jordan Binnington for the first time in the tournament.
While the United States offense was clicking, goalie John Gibson continued to be a wall in his team's net, making 18 saves through two periods. He stopped Ryan Strome all alone in front of the net early in the period, and made a great save on Anthony Camara with 1:28 left to preserve the shutout.
Back with more after the third period.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK