Batherson wasn't on this team's radar a year ago, and before facing Sweden the Ottawa fourth-rounder had seven goals. That moved the Swedes closer to their first gold medal since 2012. Canada had a much easier path to the final, winning its last three games by scores of 8-0, 7-2 and 8-2 in what looked like pre-tournament exhibitions.
"We have to play an active way, and not just be waiting for what they are going to do to us", Pesan said.
The U.S. rebounded from a poor effort in their semifinal loss to Sweden, trouncing the Czech Republic 9-3 to capture the bronze medal.
"He came in and had to fight for his spot until the last moment", coach Dominique Ducharme said.
"It's unbelievable - what we went through previous year, all the returning guys, it meant a lot to get it", Dube, the team's captain and a Calgary Flames prospect, said. "So if we're not going to win tomorrow, I don't think the feeling will be any different than a year ago when we lost the bronze medal game". "We stuck with it and that's why we're in the final". We would hate to go so far as to guarantee the Philadelphia Flyers have their goalie of the future in Hart, but that might not be far off. Hart's as cool as they come at this age and there's no indication that will not continue once he advances to the pro level. They then scored three goals in a two-minute span near the midway mark of the middle frame to give them a 4-0 lead.
Jake Oettinger stopped 28 Czech shots for the goaltending victory.
The defending world champions are on the cusp of making the championship game for a second-straight year, which would be the first time in the competition's history that the Stars & Stripes would make consecutive finals appearances. The U.S. also finished third in 2016, while upping its medal total to 11 (four gold, one silver and six bronze). "We had two players down and we stuck (Logan) Brown back in there late". I've got to bury that, that's what it comes down to. I'm not a huge study of this tournament year after year but when you're fighting for the 12 days or the 22 days we've been going at it, certain things can back you off. We had a new mindset going into it. And when you're sitting down and you're not sure and you're hoping the teacher is going to ask you the few questions you know, then you get nervous.
"I've been looking forward to this a long time now", said Swedish forward Alex Nylander. "We've got a bronze medal tomorrow we have to win, so we have to get ready for that".
But Friday night majority got what would be the biggest hockey moment of their lives, and found out which questions they could answer.
US vs. Sweden, 4 p.m.
Andersson made it 2-0 when he tapped in his sixth goal of the tournment on a 2-on-1 with Fredrik Karlstrom early in the third period.
The two goals were just two seconds shy of the tournament record for the fastest two short-handed goals.
For Frederic, playing at the University of Wisconsin, his four goals were one short of matching a US single-game record at the world junior championship. He confirmed at the world juniors that he's been traded from Cape Breton to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, a team coached, managed and co-owned and by Joel Bouchard, Hockey Canada's team lead for the junior team.
Bellows scored on a power play to end Gustavsson's shutout bid with 7:36 remaining. Bellows came out from the corner to the front of the net and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect for his seventh tournament goal.
Tkachuk's goal came with 3:01 left to play and the USA was unable to score on a power play in the closing minutes. Frederic opened the scoring by stripping the puck from Martin Kaut at the US blue line and then beat Korenar through the legs on a breakaway with 4 seconds left in the first period.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas dropped the ceremonial first puck wearing a replica of one of his older Buffalo Bills jerseys, matching the USA uniforms.