VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — USA Juniors advance to the finals after downing Russia.

VANCOUVER, BC – JANUARY 4: Oliver Wahlstrom #18 of the United States celebrates with Ryan Poehling #11 after scoring a goal against Russia in Semifinals hockey action of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship on January, 4, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Oliver Wahlstrom and Alexander Chmelevski scored, Cayden Primeau made 35 saves and the United States advanced to the world junior hockey final with a 2-1 victory over Russia on Friday.

Seeking its fifth title and first, since 2017, the United States will face the Finland-Switzerland winner in the championship game Saturday night.

VANCOUVER, BC – JANUARY 4: Sasha Chmelevski #8 of the United States celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Russia in Semifinals hockey action of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship on January 4, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Wahlstrom opened the scoring with 5:31 left in the first period. Forward Logan Cockerill powered down the ice, faked a shot and sliced to Wahlstrom.

The U.S. made it 2-0 on a power play at 4:20 of the second after Vitali Kravtsov was called for tripping. Jack Hughes got a pass off to Chmelevski directly in front of the net, and Chmelevski poked it under goalie Pyotr Kochetkov.

VANCOUVER, BC – JANUARY 4: Goalie Pyotr Kochetkov #20 of Russia hangs his head while on the team bench after losing to the United States in Semifinals hockey action of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship on January 4, 2019, at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Denisenko pulled Russia within one with 5:24 left in the second, going down the boards and getting a shot up and over Primeau. In relegation play, Demid Yeremeyev made 25 saves and Kazakstan beat Denmark 4-0 to sweep the best-of-three series and remain in the field for the event next year in the Czech Republic. Sayan Daniyar and Davyd Makutski scored in the first period and Artur Gatiyatov had two late empty-net goals.

Denmark dropped to Division I, with Germany moving up.

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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