Canada to battle Finland for world junior gold on Saturday |

Dylan Garand made 31 saves, Kent Johnson had a goal and two assists and Canada beat the Czech Republic 5-2 on Friday to advance to the world junior hockey championship game.

Canada will face Finland — a 1-0 winner over Sweden in the second semifinal — for the title Saturday night.

“It’s exciting to be at this moment now, but the hardest work is ahead,” Garand said.

“We’ve got to do the right things here, get the right rest, recovery and be ready to go.”

Canada’s Ryan O’Rourke (28) and Finland’s Oliver Kapanen (27) battle for the puck during first period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on Monday August 15, 2022.


For Finland, Kasper Puutio scored on a second-period power play and Juha Jatkola made 23 saves. Jesper Wallstedt stopped 27 shots for Sweden.

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READ MORE: Finland wins 1-0 over Sweden to secure spot in world junior gold medal game

Logan Stankoven added goal and an assist to help Canada improve to 6-0. Connor Bedard, Mason McTavish and Joshua Roy also scored.

Stankoven has teamed with Garand for three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers in the Western Hockey League.

“He’s been steady and solid all the way through,” Stankoven said.

“He’s just so focused and ready to go every game.”

READ MORE: Canada wins 5-2 over Czechia, will play for world junior hockey gold in Edmonton

Jan Mysak and David Jiricek scored for the Czech Republic. Tomas Suchanek made 22 saves in the first two periods, and Pavel Cajan stopped eight shots in the third.

“They’re a good team and they didn’t really get away from their game at all,” Stankoven said.

The Czech Republic upset the United States 4-2 in the quarterfinals Wednesday night.

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