US tops Russia 4-3 in world junior hockey semifinal shootout

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Montreal (AP) — Troy Terry scored on all three of his shootout attempts, the last in the seventh round to give the United States a 4-3 victory over Russia on Wednesday in the world junior hockey semifinals.

Canada faced Sweden later Wednesday in the other semifinal.

Terry scored the winner right after Russia’s Alexander Polunin hit the crossbar. The University of Denver forward beat Ilya Samsonov through the legs for the third time.

United States Luke Kunin, right, tips the puck past Russia goaltender Ilya Samsonov for a goal during the second period of their semifinal game at the World Junior ice hockey championships, Wednesday, Jan. 4, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
United States Luke Kunin, right, tips the puck past Russia goaltender Ilya Samsonov for a goal during the second period of their semifinal game at the World Junior ice hockey championships, Wednesday, Jan. 4, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

“I’m just trying to gather my words here,” said the 19-year-old Terry, an Anaheim draft pick. “I’m still shaking a little bit. He’s is such a big goalie, I felt the best way to score on him was going five-hole. The second and third time, I was just trying to figure it out as I went down.”

The shootout hat trick matched Jonathan Toews’ feat for Canada in a 2-1 semifinal victory over the United States in 2007.

“He has great skill, great hands,” said U.S. defenseman Charlie McAvoy of Boston University. “He’s got ice in his veins, and he proved that tonight.”

Terry and Jeremy Bracco of Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League scored in the initial five-round shootout, with Terry making it 2-1 and Bracco tying it at 2 to keep the tiebreaker going.

The teams were allowed to repeat shooters after the fifth round, with Denis Guryanov connecting for the second time for Russia and Terry countering to keep the Americans alive.

Boston College’s Colin White scored twice and Wisconsin’s Luke Kunin added a goal in regulation for the Americans. Tyler Parsons stopped 33 shots. Parsons plays for London in the OHL.

“I’m so happy for our guys and the fight that they showed,” said coach Bob Motzko of St. Cloud State. “That was a tremendous game to be a part of. We’ll enjoy this for a little, but our guys know the mission isn’t over. It’s exciting to know we have a chance at the gold medal tomorrow.”

Guryanov had two goals for Russia, Kirill Kaprizov also scored, and Samsonov made 40 saves.

“Obviously it’s super tough,” Russian defenseman Mikhail Sergyachov said. “We wanted to win that game. We did everything we could to win. We lost in the shootout.”

Seeking its fourth title and first since 2013, the U.S. beat Russia in the knockout round for the first time in eight games. The Americans also beat Russia 3-2 in the preliminary round.

“It was more than just a game,” White said. “Knowing we lost seven times in a row, we had to do this for more than ourselves, for our country, and we pulled it off.”

Kunin tied it at 2 on a power play at 10:23. The Minnesota Wild first-round draft pick completed a beautiful tic-tac-toe play from Bracco and Boston University’s Jordan Greenway.

White put the Americans in front six minutes later when his wrist shot from the left faceoff dot took a deflection off Russian defenseman Yegor Rykov and eluded Samsonov’s glove.

Clayton Keller could have put the game away for the Americans when he was awarded a penalty shot at 5:14 of the third. White went high with his backhander, and Samsonov made a nice glove save.

Guryanov tied it at 3 less than a minute later, beating Parsons through the legs.

Kaprizov continued his electrifying tournament, scoring on a wraparound at 11:54 of the first period to get the Russians on the board. It was the first time the Americans trailed in this tournament.

White tied it on a defection with 55 seconds remaining in the first period, and Guryanov put the Russians back in front at 1:17 of the second.

“A lot of parts of it were just a terrific hockey game,” Motzko said. “Back and forth, great talent. The players left it on the line. It was tremendous hockey. This is a special win for us.”