Russia Powers Past USA En Route to Semi’s

(courtesy of Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)

After coming down to earth with two straight defeats to their neighbors to the north, Russia fell from the top spot of group B to third, setting up a date with the reigning champs in Team USA. Russia came out of the gate swinging and found themselves up 1-0 early thanks to Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko who tallied his fourth goal of the tournament. The lead was short lived as Stefan Matteau evened things up for the Americans shortly thereafter in what would be a topsy turvy first period.
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Russia Save Face By Edging Canada For Bronze

(photo courtesy of The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)

Hockey’s biggest international rivals found themselves in unfamiliar territory playing each other for a medal that wasn’t gold for the first time ever in World Junior competition. What many expected to be the final game of the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships had to settle for the third place fixture as both teams failed to get the job done in the semi’s.
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Russia’s Shootout Moves not Swede Enough

(photo courtesy of Mark Blinch/Reuters)

After avoiding an embarrassing elimination at the hands of the Swiss yesterday, Russia came just shy of completing another comeback for the right to play for gold. In what was a rematch of last years final, Russia managed to overcome a two-goal deficit against Sweden only to fail at the skills competition they so heavily relied on to get there. All three Russian shooters, two of whom scored yesterday (Mikhail Grigorenko & Nikita Kucherov), couldn’t solve the big frame of Swedish netminder Niklas Lundström and Sebastian Collberg’s nifty backhander proved to be the difference.
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Swiss Miss Chance to Upset Russia in Quarterfinals

A role reserved for the Canadians has birthed a co-star in recent years on the World Junior stage as another team in red has given Russia fits. This team however, wears a different red jersey, one that features a cross instead of the fabled maple leaf. Earlier today, Switzerland nearly spoiled the party in Ufa by forcing Russia to play for 5th place for the second time in three years.
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Don’t Call it a Comeback They’ve Been Here for Years, Russia Defeats Canada 5-3

(courtesy of Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

They say good things come in threes and if you happened to play on this year’s Russian Junior National Team well tonight’s 5-3 win over Canada to win gold was the perfect end to what has been a monumental tournament. Coming back against Finland to reach the semi-finals, then coming back again to beat Sweden to reach the finals showed the character and spunk these new hero’s had.

Finding themselves down 3-0 entering the third period against the home crowd favorite Canada would leave little room for hope in many, this year’s group? Not even close. Led by Artemi Panarin, Russia scored five unanswered goals to not only complete a modern day “Miracle on Ice” but also retain gold for the junior squad for the first time since 2003.
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Russia Avenges Sweden in Shootout En Route to Gold Medal Game


(courtesy of Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Russia’s junior team is headed back to the gold medal game for the first time since 2007 after overcoming a late deficit to beat Sweden 4-3 in a shootout. A late goal by Sergei Kalinin tied things up for the Russians who let a 2-0 lead slip away. Goalie Dmitri Shikin stood on his head at times stopping 46 of 49 Sweden shots along with all 3 in the shootout.

Shikin originally started out the tournament on the bench but due to the team’s lackluster performance against Canada he has since taken the reigns and gone 4-1 stopping 123 shots of 133 faced. Russia will now face the winner of the US Canada game determined later this evening on Wednesday at 7:30 pm est.
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Buffalo means “Disappointment” in Russian

(courtesy of (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

It had always been a dream of mine to go to the World Junior Championships to watch some of the best young talent in the world assembled on their respective national teams.  Along with my trip to the games, FRWG is starting a new section of the site that focuses on Russian prospects from around the world, so what better place to start an article than with the Russian National Junior team. 

This event once showcased the likes of Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin who were the last ones to bring Gold for Russia at the World Juniors.  Needless to say, this Russian team had some shoes to fill, considering they organized a lackluster effort the year prior, failing to bring home a medal. 
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