TORONTO — Kirill Kaprizov scored twice as Russia defeated Denmark 4-0 in the quarter-finals of the world junior hockey championship on Monday afternoon.
Russia will face either the United States or Switzerland in Wednesday's semifinals at Montreal's Bell Centre.
The Russians have medals at six consecutive world junior tournaments, but just one gold medal in that span (2011).
Kaprizov's two goals saw the 19-year-old Minnesota Wild prospect pass Sweden's Alex Nylander for the tournament lead in points (10) at the under-20 tournament.
Alexander Polunin and Pavel Karnaukhov had the other Russian goals while Washington Capitals prospect Ilya Samsonov turned aside 14 shots for his second shutout of the tournament. Philadelphia Flyers draft pick Mikhail Vorobyov had two assists in the win and now leads the tournament with eight assists.
Danish starter Lasse Petersen allowed two goals on nine shots in the first period and was relieved by Kasper Krog to start the second. Krog stopped 23 shots, including 15 in the second period.
Polunin opened the scoring at 8:45 of the first period beating Petersen with a shot from centre ice for his third goal of the tournament.
Russia took a 2-0 lead on a power play with 10.9 seconds remaining in the first as Kaprizov one-timed a Vorobyov feed short side past Petersen.
Karnaukhov gave the Russians a little insurance at 7:12 of the third picking up the loose puck after Denis Guryanov fanned on his shot and beating Krog between the pads for his second of the tournament.
Kaprizov added his second of the afternoon late in the third period, picking up the loose puck at the sideboards and cutting to the slot to beat Krog for his tournament-leading seventh goal.
Russia needed overtime to defeat the Danes 4-3 in the quarter-finals of last year's tournament. The Russians settled for silver at the 2016 tournament after losing 4-3 in overtime to the host Finland in the gold medal game.
By qualifying for the quarter-finals, Denmark ensured it will participate in a record fourth consecutive world junior championship next year in Buffalo, N.Y.