Russia scores four times in third to defeat U.S.; Canada into final, too

PRAGUE -- Four final-period goals propelled defending champion Russia past the United States 4-0 in the semifinals of the ice hockey world championship on Saturday and set up a final with Canada.

Canada also enjoyed a blanking, 2-0 over the host Czech Republic.

The finalists are by far the most decorated in world championship history, with Russia (and the Soviet Union) having won 27 finals, and Canada 24. Sunday will make their first final in six years.

The Russia-U.S. semi was scoreless until more than seven minutes into the final frame, when Sergei Mozyakin wristed a shot over goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

Alex Ovechkin, making his first appearance in the tournament following the end of his NHL playoffs run, found space in between the goalie's pads three minutes later and added an assist.

"The first couple of periods I didn't feel really well," said Ovechkin, who arrived in Prague on Friday. "In the third, my legs started working. Tomorrow's gonna be final. It's gonna be fun, an interesting game."

Vadim Schipachyov made it 3-0, and Evgeni Malkin finished off the Americans with 1:25 to go into an empty net.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves.

"It was a great hockey game, tight, played tough by both sides," U.S. captain Matt Hendricks said. "We just weren't able to crack Bobrovsky tonight."

Russia will seek its third title in four years.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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