It was no contest.
The United States thoroughly dominated Canada today, rolling to a 5-1 victory in the world junior tournament semifinals in Russia. The Americans opened a 4-0 lead before the Canadians finally broke through in the third period.
U.S. captain Jake McCabe, selected by the Sabres in the second round of the 2012 draft, scored twice in the opening period to set the tone.
"It feels awesome, especially in such an emotional game against Canada," McCabe, who assisted on the third goal, told reporters. "I'm so proud of our team. This was the best game of the tournament for us."
Goalie John Gibson stopped 33 of 34 shots for the United States, which will face either Russia or Sweden in the final at 8 a.m. Saturday.
UPDATE: Sweden advanced to the gold-medal game with a 3-2 shootout win over Russia. Sabres top prospect Mikhail Grigorenko scored the tying goal for Russia but was among three skaters stopped in the shootout.
"We played just how we needed to play," McCabe said. "We kept the puck in their end. We got ahead and stayed out of the box. We used our speed to our advantage.
"They really didn't know what hit them in the first. You could tell. They were throwing the puck away. We kept them on their heels."
After winning five straight world junior titles, the Canadians haven't earned gold since 2009.
"We’ve got to come home with a medal," said Canada captain Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers. "It won’t be the one we wanted to come home with, but we’ve got to do it for our country."