Both semifinalists were a major surprise, though, as Switzerland upset perennial preliminary-round powerhouses Sweden before Finland shocked the hosts Canada in overtime in the quarterfinals.
It's just the fourth time since that the Canadians failed to finish in the top four of the World Juniors. Saturday's gold medal game will provide both teams with the largest stage of their young careers.
Most notably, all eyes will be on American star Jack Hughes, who could use a strong performance in the championship match as an opportunity to further solidify his ranking as the top prospect in the NHL Draft class.
Hughes has battled injury at the World Juniors, missing a pair of preliminary-round games. He has three assists in four appearances at the tournament but has yet to light the lamp.
While Ryan Poehling is in a share for the tournament lead with eight points 5 G, 3 A , he's been held pointless in the medal round as the United States offense has slowed, scoring just five goals in their last two games. The heroics of goaltender Cayden Primeau, a Montreal Canadiens prospect, has played a huge factor as to why the Americans are in contention for a fifth gold medal.
After holding the Czech Republic to a goal on 16 shots in the quarterfinals he saved 32 of 33 shots against the Russians on Friday. He's with a.
He'll be tasked in stopping a Finnish squad that has scored 19 goals in its last five games. But these two teams have already faced each other during the preliminary round which the United States won Primeau turned away 28 of Finland's 29 shots that game while Vancouver Canucks prospect Tyler Madden picked up a pair of goals.
|World Juniors Odds||
The US will be hoping for a repeat of the New Year's Eve meeting while Finland looks for its third gold medal since Here is how you can catch all the action: USA vs.