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World Juniors 2016 Semi-Final: Russia vs. USA preview, schedule and game thread

After squeaking past Denmark in their quarter-final, Russia will go up against a much stronger American squad for the right to play for gold.

Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

With Canada out of the World Juniors, it is now a battle of the other perennial contenders to see who will be able to take the gold medal.

While the host Finns did battle with Sweden in one semi, the United States and Russia will do battle for the right to play the winner of that game.

The Americans made quick work of a weaker Czech squad in their quarter-final matchup, blanking them 7-0 to earn their trip to the semis.

The shut-out for Alex Ndeljkovic served to improve his tournament lead in both goals against average (1.15) and save percentage (.954). Given the way he's played, it's a no brainer for Ron Wilson to give him the start.

Russia, on the other hand, had a bit of a tougher road to the semis, as a pesky Danish squad took them to overtime in their quarter-final match on Saturday.

If not for Vladislav Kamenev scoring with under a minute to go in regulation - and eventually getting the OT winner - they may not have even made it that far.

Chances are they're going to need a better effort to get into the gold medal game. The Americans probably hold the edge in goaltending and defense, but Russia has the ability to be very dangerous, and has one of the most efficient power plays in the entire tournament.

It will be important for the USA to stay out of the box, whereas Russia is going to need to try and figure out a way to get Alex Ndeljkovic to allow more than one goal get through him.

Team Russia Statistic Team USA
18 Goals For 25
10 Goals Against 5
33.33% Power Play 22.73%
94.12% Penalty Kill 91.67%
91.45% Save Percentage 95.93%
0 Shutouts 1
152 Shots on Goal 183
11.84% SH% 13.66%
Puck drop is at 1:00 PM EST / 11:00 AM PST

You can watch the game on TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, RDS, or streaming on TSN GO. You can listen to the game on the TSN radio network. The NHL Network will carry the game in the United States.

Team Russia Projected Lineup
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Maxim Lazarev Vladislav Kamenev Yevgeni Svechnikov
Andrei Kuzmenko Andrei Svetlakov Kirill Kaprizov
Alexander Polunin Pavel Kraskovskiy Yegor Korshkov
Alexander Dergachyov Radel Fazleyev Artur Lauta
Left Defense Right Defense
Yegor Rykov Nikita Zhuldikov
Ivan Provorov Alexander Mikulovich
Damir Sharipzyanov Dimitriy Sergeyev
Sergei Boikov Yegor Voronkov
Goaltenders
Alexander Georgiyev
Ilya Samsonov
Team USA Projected Lineup
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Matthew Tkachuk Auston Matthews Alex DeBrincat
Sonny Milano Scott Eansor Colin White
Christian Dvorak Nick Schmaltz Brock Boeser
Ryan MacInnis Ryan Donato Clayton Keller
Ryan Hitchcock Anders Bjork
Left Defense Right Defense
Louis Belpedio Will Borgen
Zachary Werenski Brandon Carlo
Chad Krys Charlie McAvoy
Brandon Fortunato Ryan Collins
Goaltenders
Alex Nedeljkovic
Brandon Halverson