It was a big day at the World Junior Championships for Team USA on Tuesday, as the Americans topped Finland 6-3 in Mora, Sweden, to clinch a berth in the tournament semifinals.
With the victory, the U.S. moved into a semifinal showdown on Wednesday against the Canadian squad that includes Rangers prospects Marc Staal, Tom Pyatt and Marc-Andre Cliche. It will be a rematch of an earlier game between the teams, which Canada won 6-3.
Also in the semifinals is Rangers prospect Artem Anisimov, whose unbeaten Russian team will play Sweden in Wednesday's other semifinal.
The winners of Wednesday's semifinal games will play for the gold medal on Friday in Leksand, Sweden. The bronze medal game will also take place on Friday in Leksand.
Defenseman Erik Johnson, the No. 1 overall pick by the St. Louis Blues at last June's NHL Entry Draft, led the way for the Americans on Tuesday with a goal and two assists. He tallied the first goal of the game at 11:28 of the opening period and picked up the second assist on a go-ahead goal early in the third.
Team USA jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period before the Finns rallied to tie it midway through the period. The Americans went up 3-2 just 23 seconds into the third period, before Finland again tied the game. Peter Mueller notched the game-winner at 7:53 of the third.
Rangers prospect David Kveton and the Czech team saw their medal hopes end on Tuesday, as the Czechs were bounced out of the quarterfinals in a 5-1 loss to host Sweden.
Kveton, who played on the fourth line, did not score any points or take any penalties in the Czechs' loss. He had one shot on goal in the second period.
The Czech Republic moves into the relegation round and will play Finland for fifth place on Thursday.
In another game on Tuesday, Switzerland beat Slovakia 2-1 in the relegation round to determine seventh through 10th place.
Rangers prospect Tomas Zaborsky skated on Slovakia's top line and took one minor penalty in the second period. Zaborsky finished the game with two shots on goal for the winless Slovak team, which will play Belarus in its final game on Thursday.