Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
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No one was expecting the game to end with a 6-0 score as it was the case in the round-robin. In fact, it was a game full of drama as the showdown between Team Russia and Team Canada gifted hockey fans yet another classic for the years to come. The Russians blew away a 2-goal lead as the team displayed a lack of discipline in the third period, and the Canadians won their eighteenth World Juniors' gold medal.

Both teams had at their disposal an enormous offensive potential; however, the crowd had to wait for the second period to see the first goal. In the opening stanza, the Russians had a slight advantage – mostly due to the opposition's penalties – but couldn't beat Joel Hofer. However, again with the man advantage, Nikita Alexandrov masterfully deflected a blue-line shot from Egor Zamula to score the go-ahead goal as the game's clock almost signed half-time. Discipline was an issue for the Russians throughout the tournament, and just thirty seconds after Alexandrov's tip, the refs caught Ak Bars' Daniil Zhuravlyov and Dmitry Voronkov in foul play. It meant a full two-minute, 5-on-3 stretch for the Canadians, who took advantage of the situation and tied the game up at one at the 31st minute. However, the tie didn't last long: only three minutes later, the Russian captain Grigory Denisenko converted a long shot ripped by Alexander Romanov for a critical second-period goal.

In the closing twenty-minute, the Canadians started strong and had a huge chance on a Connor McMichael, denied by a fantastic save by Amir Miftakhov. A few minutes later, Maxim Sorkin found his first goal of the tournament when he went top-shelf after a beautiful pass by Ilya Kruglov from behind the net. However, once again, the Russian joy didn't last long. Just thirty seconds later, McMichael didn't miss his call and scored the 3-2 goal with less than eleven minutes to go. A couple of minutes later, the Russians and Voronkov had another penalty called against, and Barret Hayton tied the game at three for the Canadians as the momentum was clearly in their favor. Less than five minutes later, Canada scored the game-winner when Thomas Akil found himself all alone in the offensive zone just in front of Miftakhov.

"We had too many mistakes in the game," Vasily Podkolzin admitted after the final horn. "We paid for this, and it's a terrible feeling. It wasn't a matter that we were too sure of winning. We allowed some bad goals. We didn't play well in some moments, and they have been a bit lucky too. We had to play better when we were up 3-1. There's little left to joy now; we all wanted to win, and no one is happy with silver medals. It's a pity: we had a great team filled with great guys."

In the dying minutes, the Russian youngsters had an excellent chance to tie the game at four when Kevin Bahl was sent to the sin bin for hooking. Still, another two late penalties didn't allow the team to took full advantage of the situation as the Canadians started to celebrate yet another gold medal. With Valery Bragin on the bench, the Russians appeared at five World Junior finals, but won just one goal, back in 2011.

"We could win the game, but did not," says Lokomotiv's Daniil Misyul. "We had too many penalties, and the Canadians took advantage of their powerplay. We were up by two goals, but couldn't keep the lead, and this is why we can say that if we lost, it's our fault."

"Some stupid penalties ruined the game for us," Alexander Romanov said, agreeing with Misyul. "However, I think that we deserved more and that we were the best team in the tournament. We tried to correct the situation, but we failed." The CSKA D-man was the lone Russians to be selected in the tournament's All-Star team. With this year's silver, Russia has won 23 medals in the World Juniors' history.

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Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
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