Canada will now face the United States for gold tomorrow while the Russians will take on Finland for bronze.
Russia scored all its goals with the man advantage, but a late penalty in the third gave Canada the extra skater and a four-on-three in the overtime. Serdachny got the puck in the slot and roofed a shot over the glove of Daria Gredzen.
"Julia [Gosling] dropped it back and Ann [-Frederik Naud] had a good pin in the corner," Serdahcny described. "I just walked out and didn't really see anyone to pass to, so I saw an opening on the goal and just shot it."
Despite the win, Canada's penalty kill looked vulnerable. "We have a really good penalty kill, but sometimes the bounces don't go your way," Serdachny offered. "We were able to re-group, and that's all that matters."
"I think we played better this year than last year, and better last year than the year before," said Ilona Markova, who scored the nicest goal of the game for Russia in the second period. "Today's game showed our full potential. We have a lot of new players on the team, and we gave it everything we had. Now we have to prepare for tomorrow to make sure we go home with the bronze medal."
Although teams exchanged goals in the first, the game was anything but even. Canada dominated puck possession and territory, but the Russians were very effective in limiting scoring chances, keeping Canada to the outside, taking their opponents to prevent odd-man rushes or play in the danger zones near their goal.
The Russians opened the scoring on the game’s first power play, Polina Luchnikova setting up Anna Savonina from the slot, her shot beating Raygan Kirk.
Undaunted, Canada continued to press and was rewarded. Nicole Kelly was in the right place at the right time, following the play into the Russian corner. The puck squirted free and she took it to the net, roofing a superb shot over the glove on the short side of Grezden.
"It was good that we kept going, never got down when they scored," Serdachny said.
Canada jumped into its first lead early in the second when Alexie Guay’s low point shot went all the way through a maze of players. But just when it seemed Canada was in control, it wasn’t.
They took another penalty, and the Russians struck again. This time it was a sensational solo effort by Markova. She took a pass at centre ice in full flight, and using a Canadian defender as a screen snapped a shot past Kirk at 7:46.
Soon after they had a great chance to take the lead again, but Kirk made a nice stop on a point-blank shot from Maria Pushkar.
Nevertheless, the Russians looked stronger and more confident as the game went on. They had a five-on-three for 52 seconds and came close again, but in the final minute it was Canada that scored with the extra man. Like Guay’s, Julia Gosling’s low shot from the top of the circle beat Gredzen cleanly, giving Canada the 3-2 lead with only 24 seconds left in the period.
Russia tied the game at 11:51 of the third with another power play. This time it was Yelena Provorova converting a pass from Yelizaveta Shkalyova from in close. That set the stage for a nail-biting finish to the period and the short but thrilling OT.