World Juniors

Russia Storms Back For Gold

Down 3-0 after two, Russians score five times in 5-3 victory in Gold Medal Game over Canada

Wednesday, 01.5.2011 / 11:41 PM ET / World Juniors
Florida Panthers
Share with your Friends

Russia Storms Back For Gold

By Glenn Odebralski for

It wasn't supposed to end like this.

Up 3-0 with just 20 minutes to play, Canada could smell gold.

Russia had other plans however.

Outplayed for a solid forty minutes, the Russians turned it on in the last stanza and scored five times on their way to the 5-3 victory and World Junior Championships gold.

"It's probably one of the toughest pills I've had to swollow," said Panthers first round pick Erik Gudbranson who finished with two shots and a minor penalty. "As a hockey player, the amount of work that we put in together, we've been together for a month and for it to come down in the third period like that, it just sucks."

"A brutal feeling," said Canada goaltender Mark Visentin who finished with 22 saves in the loss. "To be up 3-0 and for the Russian's to come back and beat us, it's a terrible pill to swallow. There's really no words to describe it right now."

"I don't really how to explain it really. More shocked than anything. Just ticked off," said Canada forward Marcus Foligno. "We let the Russians get to us in the third period. We had the game folded up and ready to go."

The comeback started 2:33 into the third as Artemi Panarin scored on a shot above Visentin's glove. Maxim Kitsyn would get them to within one on the very next shift as the puck squeeked through Visentin's legs off the rush.

You could see that with each shift and each goal in the third, the Russians gaining confidence while the Canadians players and their fans becoming more nervous.

The Russians captain Vladimir Tarasenko tied the game off a one-timer from the slot, scoring off the feed from Yevgeni Kuznetsov (his second of three assists in the contest) with 7:29 gone.

"I don't think there's any explanation for it," said Gudbranson of the breakdown. "We were working. We were trying to do what we could. I think the two first goals put us back on our heals pretty early and unfortunately we weren't able to respond as we wanted to."

Then with 4:38 remaining, the Russians took their first lead of the game. After several turnovers in the Canadian zone, Panarin netted his second of the night by chipping the puck over Visentin's shoulder.

With Canada pressing for the equalizer, Nikita Dvurechenski put the nail in the coffin. Getting behind Canada's defense, he scored five-hole with 1:16 left.

All that was left was for the comeback Russians (third straight victory after trailing in the third) to celebrate the final win.

"You have to give them credit. That's a fighting team over there," said Gudbranson. "That's a fighting team on the other side. They never gave up. You look at the quarters, semis and finals, they never gave up at any point. We knew that they were going to come back hard."

"It's really tough watching them out there celebrate," said Visentin. "We really dedicated ourselves and really sacrificed a lot to win this gold medal. To come on the short end of the stick, it's a big blow to us, that's for sure.

The game started off early, thanks to Canada's captain. Working the puck around the perimeter on the power play, Ryan Ellis fired a shot past Dmitri Shikin just 4:50 into the contest.

The Canadians and Russians played almost to a stand still for the rest of the period. The Maple Leaf would strike with 14 seconds left, taking a stranglehold on the game as Carter Ashton scored off a nice give-and-go with Louis Leblanc from just above the goal line.

Howden had a great chance to triple the lead for Canada 2:15 into the second. Parked in front of the Russian net, he redirected the point shot just wide.

While Howden couldn't make it 3-0, Kings prospect Brayden Schenn did, as he was set up by Sabres prospect Marcus Foligno off a turnover with 6:27 gone in the second. That would be all for Shikin.

Killing off a penalty, Russia actually had a great chance to get on the board with 11:30 to play in the second. Danil Sobchenko found himself behind the Canada defense but Visentin made the glove save on the forward.

There was a scary moment with 4:29 left in the second as Tarasenko lost his footing while skating with the puck in the Canadian zone and Foligno tried to jump over him but clipped him with the skate. He was down for several minutes before being helped off the ice.

And after 40 minutes to play, it was Canada 3, Russia 0. Just enough time for a comeback.

"I don't really believe in the saying that you won a silver medal. I think we lost gold," said Visentin. "That's why we came here. We didn't come here to win a silver medal. We came here to get gold. It's a brutal feeling losing. At the same time, I'm proud of what we battled through. Not a lot of people saw us making it to the gold medal game this year and for all the returning guys next year, it gets us that much more motivated."




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.