TOLCHINSKI’S HAT TRICK LEADS RUSSIA TO FIRST U17 GOLD SINCE 2000WINDSOR, Ont. – Sergei Tolchinski scored a hat trick, including on a shorthanded penalty shot in the third period, as Russia claimed its first gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge since 2000 with a 7-4 win over the United States on Wednesday night.
The last time the Russians took home the top prize, Ilya Kovalchuk led them to a 2-0 win over Ontario in the gold medal game in Timmins, Ont. The Soviet Union also won one U17 title, winning in 1988 with a team led by future NHLers Pavel Bure and Slava Kozlov.
While Tolchinski was the offensive leader, goaltender Nikita Serebryakov turned in another stellar performance against the Americans, making 45 saves as the Russians were outshot 49-34. In his two wins against the U.S. in Windsor, including a 3-2 preliminary round victory on Friday, Serebryakov turned aside 96 of the 102 shots he faced.
It was the Americans who hit the scoreboard first, as Evan Allen was the beneficiary of hard work by Tyler Kelleher, who drove the net and centered to Allen for a tap-in and the game’s opening goal.
But Tolchinski pulled the Russians even just past the 12-minute mark of the second period, finishing off a shorthanded two-on-one with Ruzal Galeyev, and Valeri Nichushkin put the European side ahead for the first time just 3:03 later, his shot just sneaking past U.S. netminder Hunter Miska.
After Will Butcher tied the game on a U.S. power play, the Russians grabbed the lead for good less than two minutes later when Nikita Cherepanov’s shot from outside the blue line hit an American skate and skipped past Miska for a 3-2 Russian lead through 40 minutes.
Tolchinski made it a two-goal game just 3:20 into the third period on a penalty shot, waiting for Miska to attempt a poke check before snapping a shot over the U.S. netminder’s blocker.
It was a case of déjà vu for the Americans, who gave up a back-breaking penalty shot goal to Ontario’s Mathew Campagna in last year’s gold medal game.
After Russian captain Ivan Barbashev scored the 5-2 goal on a set-up from Nichushkin, J.T. Compher and Anthony Louis pulled the Americans to within one with two minutes remaining, setting up a wild finish.
But Nichushkin scored into an empty net for the final nail in the U.S. coffin, and Tolchinski wrapped up his hat trick with another empty-netter with nine seconds to go to round out the scoring.
||City, Country||Windsor, Ont.
|Month / Day / Year||01/04/2012
||Time||07:00 PM ET
|United States (USA)
08:38 USA 40 Evan Allen (63 Tyler Kelleher, 52 Steven Santini)
03:20 RUS 10 Sergei Tolchinski SH PS
08:26 RUS 22 Ivan Barbashev (27 Valeri Nichushkin)
14:45 USA 77 J.T. Compher (74 Will Butcher, 41 Scott Savage) PP
17:56 USA 95 Anthony Louis (63 Tyler Kelleher)
19:43 RUS 27 Valeri Nichushkin EN
19:51 RUS 10 Sergei Tolchinski EN
||35 Hunter Miska
||30 Nikita Serebryakov
|| Off 3/20:00
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||Total|
|Player of the Game|
||10 Sergei Tolchinski
|Russia||51 John Hayden
||Seth Ferguson, Fraser Lawrence
||Dustin McCrank, Adam Harris