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Finland And Canada To Play For Gold At Worlds

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Forwards Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund each recorded an assist, and Finland defeated Russia 3-1 on Saturday in the semifinal round of the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Finland fell behind 1-0 under three minutes into the first period when Sergei Shirokov scored on a rebound for Russia.

The score remained that way until just over five minutes into the second period, when Sebastian Aho scored on the power play to tie the game at 1-1. Granlund picked up the primary assist, his eighth of the tournament, second among all skaters. Granlund is now tied for second overall in the tournament with 12 points.

Finland took its first lead of the semifinal about 10 minutes later when Florida Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen scored what proved to be the game-winning goal, giving Finland a 2-1 advantage.

Under three minutes after that goal, Finland added an insurance marker when Aho scored his second of the game, again on the power play. Koivu recorded the secondary assist on the goal. It was Koivu's sixth assist at the World Championship, and 10th point in nine games. He is tied for seventh among all scorers.

Finland advances to the gold medal game on Sunday (12:45 p.m. CT) against Canada and Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba.

Canada 4, United States 3

Five lead changes, and a frantic third period push by the United States saw Canada come out on top of the other semifinal on Saturday at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Canada led 2-0 through one period on the strength of goals by Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher and Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand.

The United States would storm back in the second period though, scoring three goals over the first 8:25. The top ranked prospect in the upcoming NHL Draft, forward Auston Matthews cut the United States' deficit in half with a goal 74 seconds into the period.

New Jersey Devils defenseman David Warsofsky tied the game 2:33 later when he scored off the rush. Chicago Blackhawks forward Tyler Motte pulled the United States ahead when he scored 8:25 into the second period, giving the Americans a 3-2 lead, their first of the game.

Canada would equalize before the end of the period though, when New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard scored on the power play to make it a 3-3 game.

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis scored the game-winner 1:34 into the third period when his slap shot from just above the faceoff circle beat New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid high to the glove side.

The United States pushed hard in the third period trailing by a goal. It outshot Canada 11-4 over the final 20 minutes, but Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot stopped all 11 shots.

Dumba did not record a shot on goal in 7:47 of ice time. Forward Jordan Schroeder had three shots on goal for the United States, including two of its 11 in the third period. Schroeder nearly tied the game late in the third, but Talbot made a shoulder save against Schroeder off a 3-on-2 rush.

Dumba and Canada will meet Koivu, Granlund, and Finland in the gold medal game on Sunday. Schroeder and the United States will look to earn its second consecutive bronze medal at an IIHF World Championship when it takes on Russia on Sunday (8:15 a.m. CT).

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