For one night, a tie would have been as good as a win for Canada.
But the world junior squad went out and beat the U.S. anyway, and in doing so, ensured it will play for a medal at the 2006 championship.
Captain Kyle Chipchura’s empty-net goal with 33 seconds remaining gave Canada a 3-2 win, first place in Group A with a 4-0 record and a bye to a semi-final on Tuesday.
The explosive Ottawa Senators are down to one healthy member of their top line.
The Senators, who lead the NHL with 57 points and 158 goals, on Friday lost captain Daniel Alfredsson, who left Ottawa’s 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders with a cracked rib.
Alfredsson, who entered the contest second in the league in scoring with 54 points, got the Senators on the scoreboard 6Â½ minutes into the first period with his 25th goal. But the 33-year-old Swede was hit in the ribs with a shot by teammate Zdeno Chara less than eight minutes in the middle session and was taken to the hospital for tests.