Blackhawks forward prospect Evan Barratt and the United States men’s national junior team will compete for gold at the World Junior Championship after defeating Russia 2-1 in the semifinals at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
The U.S. will face Finland in the gold-medal game at 7 p.m. Saturday after Russia and Switzerland play for bronze.
Grigori Denisenko (Panthers) netted the lone goal for the Russians, who entered the semifinal unbeaten.
Barratt, who was drafted in the third round in the 2017 NHL draft in Chicago, did not record a point in the semifinal game. He has one goal in the tournament.
The Russians thought they scored 7:47 into the game, but the goal was disallowed after a video review determined Nikita Shashkov redirected the puck into the net with a kicking motion.
Russian goal wiped off the board for the redirect off the skate pic.twitter.com/OhXPXvnOuH— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2019
Logan Cockerill (Islanders) raced past the Russian defense before sending a pass to Wahlstrom, who made it 1-0 at 14:29 of the first period.
Logan Cockerill (Islanders) connects with Oliver Wahlstrom (Islanders) to put USA up 1-0 pic.twitter.com/6GRkFfFuwk— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2019
Jack Hughes, who is projected to the top overall pick in this year’s NHL draft, replaced Barratt on the power play then created the Americans’ next goal in the second period. Hughes dished the puck to Chmelevski, who had his shot sneak past Russian goaltender Danil Tarasov (Blue Jackets) to make it 2-0 at 4:20 of the middle frame.
Jack Hughes (Heaven) to Sasha Chmelevski (Sharks) for the USA 2-0 lead pic.twitter.com/Y6PdGNMNIA— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2019
Denisenko cut the deficit in half with a solid defensive play then raced back to the other end and roofed a shot over U.S. goaltender Cayden Primeau (Canadiens) at 13:36.
Grigori Denisenko (Panthers) with a snipe off a coast-to-coast rush. Sick play to cut USA lead to 2-1 pic.twitter.com/9WPtBTbyZW— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2019
Starting the third period on the power play, the Russians nearly tied things up. A shot sneaked by Primeau and the puck looked like it was going to roll into the net, but Philip Kemp (Oilers) swept it off the goal line line.
The Americans are guaranteed a medal for the fourth straight year. They’ve earned bronze in 2016, gold in 2017 and bronze in 2018. The U.S. boosts three other tournament wins in 2004, 2010 and 2013.
Best players of the game for RUS/USA as selected by the teams: Cayden Primeau (MTL) and Grigori Denisenko (FLA).— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) January 4, 2019
Top 3 players in the tournament for Russia as selected by the coaches: Ilya Morozov (2019), Klim Kostin (STL) and Pyotr Kochetov (2019).— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) January 4, 2019