BUFFALO, N.Y. — Oskar Steen and Axel Jonsson Fjallby scored short-handed goals to lead Sweden to a 4-2 semifinal win over the United States at the world junior hockey tournament Thursday.
Sweden will meet either Canada or the Czech Republic in the tournament final Friday. The Americans, who won gold last year in Montreal, will play the semifinal loser for the bronze medal.
Elias Petterson and Lias Andersson had the other goals for Sweden while Filip Gustavsson stopped 29 shots.
Kieffer Bellows and Brady Tkachuk scored for the U.S. to erase a 4-0 deficit in the third. Joseph Woll made 16 saves before being replaced by Jake Oettinger after allowing Sweden's final goal.
The U.S. was attempting to become the first country to win consecutive gold medals since Canada won five straight from 2005-09.
Sweden will chase its first tournament gold medal since 2012 after posting a 4-0 record in the preliminary round. The Swedes came into Thursday's contest having won just four of its past 10 semifinal games and hadn't won a medal since earning silver in 2014.
Sweden surged to a 4-0 lead in the third with three goals before the midway mark of the period.
Andersson put Sweden ahead 2-0 at 6:17, finishing off a nice give-and-go play with Fredrik Karlstrom for his sixth goal of the tournament. Then the Swedes scored short-handed goals 38 seconds apart.
Steen made it 3-0 at 7:47, shooting on a 2-on-1 rush with Alex Nylander and beating Woll high to the blocker side. Jonsson Fjallby then picked up a loose puck and beat Woll high on his glove side to end the Toronto Maple Leafs prospect’s night.
The two goals came just two seconds shy of the tournament record for the fastest two short-handed goals.
Bellows ended Gustavsson’s shutout bid with 7:36 remaining. Bellows came out from the corner to the front of the net and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect for his seventh tournament goal.
Tkachuk pulled the U.S. to within 4-2 with 3:01 remaining, firing a loose puck past Gustavsson. The Americans had a glorious chance to further cut their deficit by going on the power play with 2:02 remaining but couldn't convert.
Pettersson opened the scoring on the power play with his fifth goal of the tournament at 13:30 of the second.
NOTES: Thurman Thomas, the former Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame running back, performed the ceremonial opening faceoff.