A real lackluster performance from the United States led to their elimination from the 2014 WJC’s. Russia defeated USA by a score of 5-3. Russian defenseman and Buffalo Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov carried the Russians with two power play goals, both 5-on-3, in the second period.
It was a high-scoring first period that ended with the USA up 3-2. The Russians got on the board first however, with a goal from another Buffalo Sabres prospect, Mikhail Grigorenko. USA would answer with a goal from Stefan Matteau. Pavel Buchnevich would answer quickly to give Russia the lead again. However, Ryan Hartman and Ducks prospect Nic Kerdiles would both score to give the Americans the lead. The second period would begin the demise of this USA team. Three penalties within 1 minute from the Americans created multiple 5-on-3′s for Russia and they scored twice to take a 4-3 lead, both goals from Zadorov as I said earlier. The third period was where you expected USA to dominate and at least get one, but that wouldn’t happen. I thought they looked awful in the third. There was a lack of communication. They made bad pass after bad pass and bad decision after bad decision. They couldn’t score and the Russians added an empty netter, Buchnevich again.
It was a bad performance from not only the Americans but from the officials as well. They were terribly inconsistent and they called some weak penalties. Also, this game was much more physical than I thought, especially the Russians. They have a defenseman that is Zdeno Chara-sized called Nikita Tryamkin and he really threw his body around. He made some checks along the boards that we’ve seen Chara get called for a penalty just because of how much bigger than he was than the guy he hit, but that never happened. Also, when the Russians knew they were going to win, they made sure to “stick it” to the Americans and rub their nose in it a little bit. Buchnevich scored the empty netter by really hammering it hard into the net and as he skated by the USA bench you could see him taunt the Americans. Could see the Americans were not happy with that as a couple got up off the bench to chirp towards the Russians and Hartman, who was at the end of the bench, stuck his stick out and poked Buchnevich on the right cheek. Buchnevich was called for misconduct and nothing was called on Hartman. It was just Russians being Russians really. They always celebrate a lot when they score and when they know they’re going to win, they’re going to make sure the other team knows it too. I’ve never liked the Russians so this was hard for me to watch.
Anyway, Russia moves on and they will face the winner of Sweden-Slovakia in the semifinals. Russia lost to Sweden during pool play. The other semifinal will be Canada vs. Finland.
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Tags: 2014 World Junior Championships Anaheim Ducks Buffalo Sabres Canada Finland Mikhail Grigorenko Nic Kerdiles Nikita Tryamkin Nikita Zadorov Pavel Buchnevich Russia Ryan Hartman Slovakia Sweden USA Zdeno Chara