Knight, U.S., hold off Finland, advance to World Junior hockey final vs. Canada

Spencer Knight and Team USA will take on Canada for the 2021 World Junior ice hockey championship after defeating Finland 4-3 in the semifinals on Monday in Edmonton.

Arthur Kaliyev scored the game-winning goal with 1:16 remaining, after Finland had rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game late in the third period.

Knight, who is playing in his third World Juniors, collected 33 saves and allowed just one even strength goal. He’s been in the net for four straight wins, including two via shutout, since a 5-3 loss to Russia in the tournament opener.

Team USA will square off with Canada, a 5-0 winner over Russia, in the gold medal game at 9:30 p.m., EST, Tuesday. It will mark the fifth time that the two teams have clashed for the World Junior championship.

Monday’s win gave the U.S. a measure of revenge against Finland, which eliminated the Americans 1-0 in last year’s quarterfinals, and also topped the U.S. 3-2 in the 2019 final.

The U.S. broke a 1-1 tie with two goals in the second period, as John Farinacci and Matt Boldy, one of Knight’s Boston College teammates, scored.

EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 04: Goaltender Spencer Knight #30 of the United States makes a save against Roni Hirvonen #22 of Finland during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship semifinals at Rogers Place on January 4, 2021 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 04: Goaltender Spencer Knight #30 of the United States makes a save against Roni Hirvonen #22 of Finland during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship semifinals at Rogers Place on January 4, 2021 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

Codie McLachlan / Getty Images

The two-goal edge held up until the final 10 minutes, when Finland’s Kasper Simontaival scored with 8:22 remaining, and Roni Hirvonen tied it on a power play with 3:43 to go.

Kaliyev then roofed a shot with a little more than a minute to play to give the U.S. the victory.

david.stewart@hearstmediact.com; @dstewartsports