The outcome is no doubt not what they hoped for, as Russia fell to host Sweden, 3-2, in their final game of the preliminary round at the 2014 World Junior Championship. Russia lives to fight another day, of course, but the road to the gold medal game just became slightly more difficult with the loss on New Year's Eve.
Leading the way on offense for Russia at this tournament is forward Mikhail Grigorenko. He potted a goal in the loss to Sweden, and for the tournament has produced four goals and three assists for seven points in four games.
Grigorenko was made available to Team Russia by the Buffalo Sabres, who drafted the big forward in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft. The native of Khabarovsk, Russia has had a difficult time staying in the Sabres' lineup so far in the 2013-14 season, and the possibility exists that he could end up back in the junior ranks once he returns to North America. But a good performance at the 2014 WJC might sway the Sabres to keep him with the parent club for the remainder of the season.
Grigorenko spoke with the media following the loss to Sweden, a portion of which is captured in this Hockey's Future video.
Follow Chapin Landvogt on Twitter via @Csomichapin