US beats Sweden, will play for gold at World Junior A Challenge
Brainerd's Eric Pohlkamp scored twice on the power play and Notre Dame commit Cole Knuble picked up the game-winner for the Americans after rallying from a two-goal deficit.
CORNWALL, Ontario — Brainerd native Eric Pohlkamp scored twice and the United States went 3-for-4 on the power play to beat Sweden 4-3 in a World Junior A Challenge semifinal Saturday night at Cornwall Civic Complex. The Americans will face Canada East on Sunday for a chance at their ninth WJAC title and first since 2018.
After an opening goal from Tanner Ludtke in the opening frame, Sweden got three straight goals in the second period from Edvin Nilsson, Tom Willander and Anton Wahlberg to take a 3-1 lead. Pohlkamp's two power-play goals in less than three minutes of game time, including the game-tying goal with 11 seconds left in the middle period, got the U.S. level at three going into the final 20 minutes.
The Bemidji State commit was playing in his third game of the tournament for the United States — he has five goals in the last two games after notching a hat trick against Latvia on Friday.
Notre Dame commit Cole Knuble , who plays for the Fargo Force in the USHL, scored an unassisted game-winning goal 8:50 into the third period and Boston College commit Jacob Fowler slammed the door in net, stopping all six shots he faced in the final period to seal a spot in the championship game.
Fowler stopped 16 of 19 Swedish shots while Sweden's Noah Erliden fended off 31 of 35 U.S. shots in the loss. The U.S. penalty kill did not allow a goal on two Swedish power plays. Ryan St. Louis had a pair of assists for the Americans in the win.
The Americans will play for their first WJAC title since 2018 on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT against Canada East, which beat Canada West 4-1 in the other semifinal to seal its spot in the gold medal game. Canada East is winless in its six previous championship game appearances at the WJAC, the U.S. is 8-for-9 in gold medal games at the tournament.