VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Oliver Wahlstrom and Alexander Chmelevski scored, Cayden Primeau made 35 saves, and the United States advanced to the final game of the world junior hockey tournament with a 2-1 victory over Russia on Friday.
Seeking its fifth title and its first since 2017, the United States will face the winner of the Finland-Switzerland game, which took place later Friday night, in the championship game on Saturday night.
“I was just trying to stay calm and composed,” said Primeau, a freshman at Northeastern. “I knew they were going to try and get some shots off at the end. I was just trying to stay big. Then you can celebrate after the buzzer has gone.”
Wahlstrom opened the scoring with 5 minutes 31 seconds left in the first period. Forward Logan Cockerill powered down the ice, faked a shot and sliced to Wahlstrom.
The United States made it 2-0 on a power play at 4:20 of the second after Vitali Kravtsov was called for tripping. Jack Hughes got a pass off to Chmelevski directly in front of the net, and Chmelevski poked it under goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov.
Denisenko narrowed Russia’s deficit to one goal with 5:24 left in the second, going down the boards and getting a shot up and over Primeau.