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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Russia Avoids Collapse; Advances to Gold Medal Game

(Courtesy of JC Pinheiro/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Last time Russia met Canada at the Junior World stage it took a five goal rally by the Russians to clinch their first gold medal since 2003. Last night, the Russians avoided a similar rally at the hands of the Canadians when their 5-1 lead entering the third period quickly vanished.
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