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’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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Three Russians Drafted in First Round of 2012 NHL Draft

(courtesy of Getty)

For the first time since 2004, three Russians were selected in the first round of Friday’s NHL Draft in Pittsburgh. Much speculation was made beforehand as to whether the Edmonton Oilers would trade their first pick having picked first the past two years. Any suspicion was quickly put to rest when GM Steve Tambellini announced 18-year-old Nail Yakupov’s name making him the third Russian to ever be picked first overall in draft history.
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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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