Canada defeated Finland 3-1 on Friday to lock up a berth in the gold-medal game at the world under-18 hockey championship.
Morgan Klimchuk and Josh Morrissey scored in the second period and Samuel Bennett added an empty-net goal late in the third.
“It was probably one of our toughest games so far,” said Canadian assistant coach Yves Sarault. “We’ve just got to build on that obviously. It was a close game and it was a great situation for those kids to learn from.”
Finland’s Joose Antonen scored midway through the third period to make it a one-goal game. Bennett sealed the victory with his goal with 38 seconds left to play.
Philippe Desrosiers made 25 saves for the win. Canada outshot Finland 38-26.
Canada will play the United States on Sunday in the tournament’s final.
The Canadians have won all six games at the tournament. They went 4-0 in the preliminary round, outscoring the opposition 23-3 overall.
Canada continued its strong play in the playoff round with a 6-0 quarter-final win over the Czech Republic before the victory over the Finns.
“We think that our way will get us a win no matter who we’re playing against,” Sarault said. “That’s what we’re focusing on — ourselves. Obviously what we’ve done so far seems to be working so we’re going to keep doing it.”
The Americans are the four-time defending champions. Canada won bronze last year.
“Canada never steps into a tournament hoping for a bronze or a silver,” Sarault said. “We’re going for gold and that’s what we’ve talked about since the first day of camp.”Report Typo/Error