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U.S. dismantles Canada to advance to gold-medal game in world juniors; Sabres' prospect McCabe shines

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."

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |