TRINEC, Czech Republic — Reigning gold medallist Finland will face Canada in a semifinal at the world junior hockey championship after beating the United States 1-0 on Thursday.
In a rematch of last year’s final, Finland’s Joonas Oden one-timed Kristian Tanus’ pass past American goalie Spencer Knight on a power play early in the third for the game’s lone goal.
Finland goaltender Justus Annunen stopped all 30 American shots.
The U.S. outshot Finland 30-29.
Finland is looking to become the first team to win consecutive titles since Canada won five in a row from 2005 to 2009.
Sweden faces Russia in the other semifinal. Both semis are Saturday with the medal games on Sunday.
RUSSIA 3 SWITZERLAND 1
TRINEC — Dmitri Voronkov scored two goals as Russia knocked off Switzerland in the first quarterfinal.
Russia needs one more win to capture its ninth medal in the past 10 world juniors. The Russians haven’t won gold since 2011.
Competing in a tight Group B, Russia needed a win over Germany in the preliminary-round finale to avoid a trip to the relegation round. The Russians crushed the Germans 6-1 and maintained their momentum against the Swiss, who finished fourth last year after upsetting Sweden in the quarterfinals.
Russia outshot Switzerland 36-15.
Alexander Khovanov also scored for Russia, while Gaetan Jobin had the lone Swiss goal.
SWEDEN 5 CZECH REPUBLIC 0
TRINEC — Vancouver Canucks prospect Nils Hoglander had two goals and an assist as Sweden rolled to victory over the host team.
Victor Soderstrom, Hugo Gustafsson and David Gustafsson also scored for the Swedes.
Goaltender Hugo Alnefelt notched a 23-save shutout for the Swedes, who had 37 shots.
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Rasmus Sandin had two assists after suffering a minor arm injury in his previous game.
It was Sweden’s 11th straight win over the Czech Republic at the world juniors.
OSTRAVA — Germany took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three relegation series with a 4-0 win over Kazakhstan.
Hendrick Hane stopped 23 shots for the shutout.
Lukas Reichel, Louis Brune, John Peterka and Dominik Bokk scored for Germany.
Game 2 is Saturday.
The winner will play in next year’s world juniors in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., along with the eight 2020 quarterfinalists and Austria, which won the promotion tournament.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2020.