Monday, January 4, 2016

Russia Shatters American Hopes at World Juniors Again

The Russians advanced to a must-see final with Finland at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships on the strength of two second period goals 2:48 apart. Pavel Kraskovsky and Yegor Korshkov tallied to turn the semifinal on its ear, and though the U.S. had many chances to draw even, Russian goaltender Ilya Samsanov made 13 third-period saves to preserve the victory and a spot in the final for Russia.

The Americans have now been knocked out of the medal round the last three years by team Russia, and have lost five straight to them.

Team U.S.A. has never defeated Russia in the medal round of this competition. The Russians have now medalled in the last six years at this event, and in 11 of the last 12 years.

In the early semifinal, Finland ousted Sweden 2-1 by scoring two goals in the middle frame. Roope Hintz and Antti Kalapudas scored 1:56 apart to enable Finland to even its all-time record with Sweden at the World Juniors at 16-16-2.

Russia defeated Finland 6-4 on December 26 in a preliminary round game.

The Americans will battle Sweden for bronze. Sweden defeated U.S.A. 1-0 on Dec. 28.