Canada beats US 4-3 to set up ice hockey final with Finland

Finlands Jussi Joking celebrates scoring a goal during the Ice Hockey World Championships semifinal match between Finland and Russia, in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, May 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Ivan Sekretarev/AP

MOSCOW (AP) Canada blew a lead before making a comeback in fighting past the United States 4-3 on Saturday to set up an ice hockey world championship final with Finland.

Canada led 2-0 after the first period before the U.S. surged back in the second to lead 3-2, though Derick Brassard's power-play goal tied up the game going into the third. Ryan Ellis scored the semifinal-winning goal with a slapshot to the top-right corner early in the third.

In Sunday's final, Canada can become the first team to retain the title since Russia in 2009, while Finland is seeking its first championship for five years. Finland beat Canada 4-0 in the preliminary round, although that game took place after both teams had already qualified for the quarterfinals.

The U.S. will play for a second bronze medal in a row against Russia, which lost 3-1 to Finland.

Eighteen-year-old forward Sebastian Aho helped Finland to win with two goals he attributed to ''great passes to me,'' adding he was looking forward to the gold medal game. ''I like to win and I hate to lose.''

Meanwhile, the loss ensured Russia has not made the final at a home world championship since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Sergei Shirokov gave Russia the lead in the first period, scoring on his own rebound following a pass from Dmitry Telegin.

Having been outshot 10-4 in the first, Finland fought back with three second-period goals. Aho, an NHL prospect, tied up the game with a power-play slapshot before Jussi Jokinen scored a wrist shot off a pass across the crease from NHL No. 1 draft pick contender Patrik Laine.

With Russia's Alex Ovechkin off the ice for interference, Aho scored his second power-play goal off assists from Jarno Koskiranta and Mikko Koivu. Finland then shut down the game in the third to secure the win.

There was more bad news for Russia late in the third when Telegin suffered what was reported to be severe bruising to the leg after apparently being struck by Atte Ohtamaa's stick. Telegin crawled across the ice as play continued before he received medical help.