Carter Hart made 28 saves in relief, and Canada got two goals from Julien Gauthier to come from behind and defeat Sweden 5-2 in their World Junior semi-final on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.
Gauthier scored the winning goal to make it 3-2, and the empty netter to make it 5-2. Mitchell Stephens, Anthony Cirelli, and Dylan Strome also scored for Canada.
Hart entered the game with Canada down 2-1 only 8:05 into the game for starting goaltender Connor Ingram.
Canada played their best game of the tournament when they needed to, and will now face the United States in the gold medal game tomorrow night.
It was a very eventful opening period between Canada and Sweden.
Joel Eriksson Ek opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal. His wrist shot went just above the pad on Connor Ingram.
Less than two minutes later, Canada tied the game shortly after when Mitchell Stephens banged in a loose puck in the crease.
Only 22 seconds after Canada tied the game, Sweden came right back and made it 2-1. Carl Grundstrom drove into the Canadian zone. Kale Clague hit Grundstrom’s stick and prevented a shot but the puck slid through Ingram’s legs and went in the net anyways.
After the second goal on three shots, Ingram was pulled and replaced with Carter Hart who played his last game in Canada’s 10-2 win over Latvia.
Canada tied the game up at 2-2 when Anthony Cirelli fired a beautiful shot top corner on Sandstrom from the face off circle.
Cirelli snipes to tie it for Canada pic.twitter.com/IIqth9CgS4— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 5, 2017
Julien Gauthier put home a loose puck on the side of the net after a forecheck by Pierre-Luc Dubois caused a turnover. Sandstrom thought he had the puck frozen against the post but Gauthier was able to hit the puck over the line to give Canada the 3-2 lead.
With seven minutes left in the second period, Sandstrom made two huge saves on Tyson Jost at the doorstep to keep it a 3-2 game.
Insane couple of saves from Sandstrom pic.twitter.com/fTXGN431Mz— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 5, 2017
With just over two minutes left, Hart flubbed a Jonathan Dahlen shot with his glove, the puck hit off of his leg and he reached back just before the puck crossed the line with a little help from Dante Fabbro.
Unreal. pic.twitter.com/7WITH9ttDq— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 5, 2017
Less than a minute later, he made a big save on an Alexander Nylander shot after a Canadian turnover.
Rasmus Dahlin, the projected 2018 top prospect, didn’t play a shift for Sweden in the first two periods, but started taking a regular shift in the third and drew a Thomas Chabot hooking penalty with just over 13 minutes left in the third period. The power play was negated when Cirelli was hauled down by Oliver Kylington a few seconds later.
During the 4-on-4, Dylan Strome scored his third of the tournament to put Canada up 4-2 from the middle of the offensive zone as his wrist shot found its way past Sandstrom.
Sweden pulled Sandstrom with 2:15 remaining in the game to try and close the gap but Gauthier scored his second of the game into the empty net.
Canada will face the United States for Gold tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. while Sweden will face Russia for Bronze at 3:30 p.m.