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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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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FRWG Chats with Igor Bobkov of Team Russia

Coming off a remarkable win against Team Canada in the gold medal game at the World Juniors, Team Russia stunned the hockey world after erasing a 3-0 deficit in the third period to win 5-3. While the team needed it’s offensive spark to complete the turnaround it was netminder Igor Bobkov who was called into action to backstop his team to eventual victory. I had a chance to talk with Bobkov since his return back to the OHL’s London Knights about the game, life after, and playing in Canada. Below is the interview, enjoy.

How did you feel when you found out you were yet again selected to represent Russia at the national level?
I was glad of course, it was important to me to be selected to the junior national team in my last year of eligibility. Since things weren’t going too well for me in London, I needed to prove to myself that my game was still strong.
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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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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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