By Liam Morgan

Canada were comfortable victors over Slovakia at the Air Canada Centre ©Andre Ringuette/HHOF/IIHF ImagesHost nation Canada will face Russia in the final of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships after both nations progressed with comfortable wins today.

Canada's Nic Petan was the star performer for the home side as he bagged a hat-trick, and Connor McDavid chipped in with three assists as they saw off Slovakia 5-1 at the Air Canada Centre.

Russia also enjoyed a relatively trouble-free semi-final as they eased past Sweden with a 4-1 victory.

Canada started at a ferocious pace but only had a solitary goal to show for it at the end of the first period, before they turned the screw at the end of the second, extending their lead to 3-0.

Slovakia did manage to pull one back but it proved to be scant consolation as the hosts scored another before the end of the third and completed the rout in the final period to send the 18,002 fans into delirium.

"It was one of those nights when pucks were just finding me," Petan said.

"I felt I was skating well, and I got some good passes from McDavid."

Russias Alexander Sharov was at the double to help his side reach the finalRussia's Alexander Sharov was at the double to help his side reach the final ©Andre Ringuette/HHOF/IIHF Images

Russia also dominated proceedings along the way to a resounding victory over Sweden, with Alexander Sharov scoring twice.

Sharov felt he was slightly fortunate with his strikes and he said: "I just shot twice and the puck went into the net both times.

"Maybe I had some kind of luck."

After a frustrating start, Russia finally broke Swedish resistance in the second period and doubled their advantage shortly after.

They put the match out of sight in the third period and although Sweden did find the net, Russia added a fourth swiftly after to end any slim hopes of a comeback.

The Russians now remain on course for their first gold medal since 2011, but they will come up against a partisan crowd and a rampant Canadian outfit in tomorrow's final.

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