WINDSOR, Ont. – Evan Allen and Anthony Louis scored in the shootout and Thatcher Demko stopped both Swedish shooters he faced as the United States advanced to the gold medal game at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 2-1 semifinal win over Sweden on Tuesday afternoon.
The Americans are into the final for the fifth time in the last six U17 tournaments; they won the big prize in 2010, defeating Ontario, but lost to Quebec in 2006 and to Ontario in 2008 and last year.
Michael McCarron scored the lone goal for the U.S. in regulation time, while Demko stopped 22 of 23 shots through 70 minutes of regulation and overtime before turning away Robert Hägg and Leon Bristedt in the shootout.
Bristedt opened the scoring, converting a shorthanded breakaway late in the second period for the Swedes, who experienced a case of déjà vu - it’s the second time in three years the Swedes have lost to the Americans in overtime in the semifinals; they suffered a 6-5 defeat in 2010.
The Americans will wait for the winner of the late semifinal between Ontario and Russia to find out who they play in Wednesday’s gold medal game at the WFCU Centre (7 p.m. ET), while the Swedes will face the loser of that game earlier in the day for bronze (2 p.m. ET).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)