Canada, Russia to meet in world junior title game
Portland Winterhawks forward Nic Petan scored three goals and Canada beat Slovakia 5-1 on Sunday night to advance to the title game in the World Junior Championship.
Canada will face Russia on Monday night.
"This is something I dream of, getting this opportunity," Erie Otters star McDavid said. "Have this in front of us tomorrow, can’t look too far ahead. You have a great Russian team ahead of us."
Russia beat Sweden 4-1 in the first semifinal.
"It’s the best thing for all of the hockey community, for business," Russian coach Valeri Bragin said. "Russia-Canada: hockey classic."
Anaheim draft pick Shea Theodore and New York Rangers pick Anthony Duclair also scored, McDavid had three assists and Montreal prospect Zach Fucale made 14 saves for Canada.
"It was one of those nights when pucks were just finding me," said Petan, a Winnipeg draft pick. "I felt I was skating well and I got some good passes from McDavid."
The Canadians won the last of their record 15 titles in 2009 in Ottawa.
"We know we’re going to have to play a complete 60 minutes of hard-hitting and fast Canadian hockey," said defenseman Joe Hicketts, a Detroit Red Wings prospect.
David Soltes scored for Slovakia.
In the first semifinal, Alexander Sharov scored twice for Russia.
"It was a matter of scoring," Sharov said. "In the first game (against Sweden, a 3-2 round-robin loss), we had chances and didn’t score."
Ziat Paigin and Maxim Mamin also scored for Russia and Rangers prospect Igor Shestyorkin made 26 saves. Carolina pick Lucas Wallmark scored for Sweden.
"Our players did a great job in the defense blocking shots and capitalizing on the chances," Shestyorkin said. "Before the game I had expected many more shots, but my teammates did a great job."
Russia won the last of its 13 titles — nine as the Soviet Union — in 2011, beating Canada in Buffalo, New York. In the quarterfinals Friday, Russia beat the United States 3-2.
"We had a couple of pretty hard games against the U.S. and Sweden," forward Ivan Barbashyov said. "We know how to play, and we’ll be playing the same way we played today and two days ago."
Sweden will play Slovakia in the third-place game.
"We didn’t play our best hockey," captain Jacob de la Rose said. "It’s sad in a big game like this."