RUBTSOV’S RECORD-SETTING NIGHT HELPS RUSSIA END U.S. REIGN IN WJAC SEMIS
WHITBY, Ont. – German Rubtsov had two goals and four assists for a WJAC-record six points, Ivan Kosorenkov scored twice, and Russia moved into the gold medal game at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge with a 7-4 semifinal win over the United States on Thursday night.
The Russians will play for gold for the second time in three years; they will take on Canada West in Saturday’s final (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on TSN), in search of their first-ever gold medal.
The loss ends the Americans’ three-year reign as gold medallists; the U.S. had left the tournament with the top prize in six of the last seven years, but will play for bronze against Canada East on Friday night (7 p.m. ET).
Russia got on the board first when Kosorenkov snuck a shot past American goaltender Ryan Bednard on the power play just 4:59 in, and Ilya Avramenko fed Mikhail Meshcheryakov for the 2-0 goal at 10:46.
The U.S. tied the game with a pair of goals in the final six minutes of the opening period; a lucky bounce ended up on the stick of Ross Colton at 14:20, and Keegan Ford got a power-play point shot through traffic and past Russian netminder Vladislav Sukhachev with 34 seconds left in the frame.
The Americans held a one-sided 16-2 advantage in shots on goal in the first period, but the Russians scored on both of theirs and the game headed to the intermission even.
Russia made it three-for-three just 25 seconds into the second period when Rubtsov stripped the puck off an American defenceman before roofing a backhand, but William Knierim and Max Zimmer scored 3:22 apart to give the U.S. its first lead and chase Sukhachev from the Russian net in favour of Mikhail Berdin.
Russia tied the game in the last minute of the middle frame when Bednard’s failed clear on the penalty kill ended up on the stick of Rubtsov, who buried his second of the game to make it a 4-4 game after 40 minutes.
That would be all for Bednard, who was replaced by Kris Oldham to start the third period.
Oldham didn’t fare much better; Dmitrii Alekseev beat the U.S. goaltender from the point for the eventual game-winning goal at 5:02, and Kosorenkov’s second of the game provided insurance at 14:39.
Artur Kayumov finished the scoring into an empty net, clinching Russia’s first-ever WJAC win over the U.S. Rubtsov earned an assist on the goal, pushing him past five others who recorded five points in one game, and tying the tournament mark with four assists.