Canada 3 - Russia 5
Before going to game details, couple of things:
1. Despite rooting for Russia, I'm sincerely sorry for Canadians. I know how it feels when your team screws multiply goal lead which it had achieved by overwhelming performance and then loses the game. But I can't even imagine how bad it must feel when this happens in final.
2. The final started at 2.30 am my time so I had put my alarm to 2.00 so I's have time to wake up a bit before the puck drops. So I "woke up" at 2.00, put the alarm off, figured I should make tea (sore throat) and the next thing I know, it's 10 am... Yay me. Luckily they showed the final again today so I got to watch it after all.
3. I think Russia stole Sweden's mojo because their last 3 games were the most Sweden-esque games I've seen in awhile.
The game started with complete Canada's control. They won face-offs, battles in the corners and played physical game, trying to provocate Russians and shake their coolness by hitting them hard in every opportunity. For what I've seen from Russia in adults' tournament, this is usually very good plan since they have tendency to start to heat and take stupid penalties when you check them and keep them away from the puck. For the junior team though, this didn't seem to work. They took the hits well and didn't start to seek for revenge. It didn't help them to score goals but for keeping Canada's lead at 2-0 after the first, it was vital. It was equally vital to the outcome of the whole game too, because Canadians never got under their skins despite controlling the game for the most parts.
To the 2nd period Canada came with more passive attitude than to the 1st despite gotting a PP in the beginning of the period. Nevertheless, while Russia got bit of boost from this PK, it didn't get their game completely started either so Canada seemed to be on its way to gold medal parties when Schenn made it to 3-0 from an awesome pass by Foligno. At this point Shikin was taken off and replaced by Bobkov, who then faced quite a firing by Canadians but Russia was lucky enough to keep Canada's lead at 3-0. While Shikin didn't play badly, it seems this was more Bobkov's day. Though, Shikin was the one who had to face Canada at the full speed in the 1st, and I think he did good job at it.
To make things worse for Russia, it seemed their captain - Tarashenko - got injured in the 2nd when he fell down and Foligno almost skated over him. I'm not entirely sure if Foligno slowed down a bit or did he kick him but luckily Tarasenko didn't apparently hurt himself much and was able to come back on the ice for 3rd period.
The period also saw couple of stupid penalties when #28 took offenisve zone penalty - where have I heard that before... - for Russia and then Canada took too many men on ice penalty.
Being down by 3 goals and being the underdog for the final, Russian had nothing to lose in the 3rd and since they hadn't given up, they managed to dig somewhere that passion and attitude that had already saved them twice in a row, first against Finland and then against Sweden. While Canada still continued that passive play from the 2nd period, Russia used it chances and scored 2 goals in 13 seconds at the beginning of the 3rd. Now this is not uncommon thing to happen when other team is slowing down securing the lead but still, this is not something you expect from Canada, especially since Russia is not famous for keeping their game mood up when being overwhelmed for 40 minutes. This shook Canada's balance a bit and when 5 minutes later Tarasenko tied the game, it was clear that Canada must somehow re-start their engines. They managed in some level to do that and played quite good/decent second half of the 3rd but as their attempts to score were either blocked by Bobkov or the defence, it didn't help them much. And when Panarin scored his second of the night to make it 3-4, it seemed everyone was bit of stunned. 3 minutes later it was already 3-5 and game over, even though Canada played last minute with 6 players.
- Very un-russian, swedish like performance with 3 comebacks in 3 games, menthal strength - didn't get heated by Canadians hits, didn't give up, believed in their own game
- I can't highlight enough how important that self-control was, physical play only works if the opponent gets provocated
- Mostly played for the team and played with heart, which is a nice change to the usual
- Didn't have nearly as much pressure as Canada had
- Had rough start for the tournament and did things difficult for themselves but battled their way to the final, which probably gave nive confidence boost.
- Kuznetsov was amazing with 3 passes, awesome plays in the offensive zone but also in defensive zone, as well good work on PK
- Tarasenko showed brilliant skills too, scored 1+1 and didn't completely ignore the defensive aspect of the game
- That 5th goal by Dvurechenski was freaking sweet
- The players yelling at the camera was slightly scary even though I think they were just expressing their love for the country and their happiness of the win...
- Strong start, controlled the game, everything went right and it looked it's gonna be quite easy win for them
- The celebration for 2-0 goal looked a bit like championship celebration...
- Played really physically, which probably turned against themselves because they lost lots of energy by doing it but didn't achieve anything since Russians didn't lose their temper
- Started to play more passive after the 1st which usually isn't very good because it's really hard to get back to full game mode if the opponent happens to tie
- Couple of stupid penalties which gave Russia chance to stay in the game, even though they didn't score
- This Ashton dude played quite well I'd say
- If there's more Schenns coming, could you please send one to Finland? We needs some help here...
- Foligno's pass for the 3rd goal was sweet
- Canadian fans are awesome, they really love the game
- Though, some of them left after Russia's 3-5 goal. Which I guess is understandable concidering the disappointment
- Signs in the crowd: "Canada: Hockey, Beer, Pierre" Uh... Well, I like one of those 3