By the narrowest of margins, the United States kept their hopes of fifth straight gold medal alive with a shootout victory over the host Russians to win their semifinal match 4-3, and advance to the gold medal game on Sunday.
It appeared all but over for the United States when Russia took a 3-2 lead with just 3:20 remaining in regulation, but Anthony Louis(Miami recruit) was able to tie the game with just 2:05 left off a goal mouth scramble. The game then proceeded to a 10-minute 4-on-4 overtime. The United States had to kill off a penalty with under 4 minutes left in the OT to force a decisive shootout. Russia was unable to score in the shootout, while the US scored twice, capped off by a game-clinching goal by JT Compher(Michigan).
The Russians had beaten the United States earlier in the tournament, and if anything, the Russians were an even tougher opponent this time around, with the addition of star forward Valeri Nickushkin, who scored a goal for the Russians in this game. After the US took a 1-0 first period lead, the Russians stormed back for two goals in the second period to take a lead heading into the final period of regulation. Defenseman Tommy Vannelli tied the game at 2 early in the third period, setting the stage for the late-game theatrics.
The United States will take on Canada, who won their semifinal earlier in the day against Finland, in the gold medal game on Sunday at 12pm EST. The United States has won this tournament the past four years, and will be looking to add to their streak against the Canadians. Canada is led by the tournament's leading scorer, 15-year-old Connor McDavid, and is currently unbeaten in this year's tournament.