United States to play for World Junior gold Saturday after edging Russia Friday night

Will MacKinnon (UNH - 5), Oliver Wahlstrom (BC - 18), Angus Crookshank (UNH - 6) - The Boston College Eagles tied the visiting University of New Hampshire Wildcats 2-2 on Friday, November 16, 2018, at Kelley Rink in Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)
BC’s Oliver Wahlstrom gave Team USA a 1-0 lead in the first period Friday night against Russia at the World Junior Championship (photo: Melissa Wade).

Cayden Primeau (Northeastern) made 34 saves to lead the U.S. National Junior Team to a 2-1 win over Russia Friday night in Vancouver in the semifinals of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Oliver Wahlstrom (Boston College) and Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s) scored as Team USA now advances to the gold-medal game Saturday at 8 p.m. EST against Finland.

“When we got together on the 14th (of December), we said this was the goal, to make it to the gold-medal game and our players made that a reality here tonight,” said U.S. coach Mike Hastings (Minnesota State) in a statement. “Give credit to Russia, who gave us everything we could handle. We battled through, earned a hard-fought win and now have a chance to go after what we came here for and that’s a gold medal.”

Tonight’s win secures a fourth straight medal finish for the United States — the first time the Americans have ever accomplished the feat.

Team USA won gold in 2017 and earned bronze-medal finishes in 2016 and 2018.