Photo: Russian players Nikita Zadorov (L) and Mikhail Grigorenko (R) celebrate Grigorenko’s goal, the first one for Russia in their 2-1 win over Canada in the bronze medal game at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN / TT/AFP/Getty Images)
For the fourth straight year, Russia earned a medal at the 2014 World Junior Championship. And, for the third time in those four years, Canada was on the losing side of that equation as Russia won the bronze medal game at this year's event, 2-1. With both countries entering the tournament with elevated expectations, playing for bronze is not something they planned on doing. But, with other countries showing improvement in their hockey programs, it may well be the new normal for these two hockey powers.
Photo: The offensive exploits of Team Canada forward Anthony Mantha weren’t enough to carry Canada to the gold medal game at the 2014 World Junior Championship, with that country instead battling for bronze with Russia (courtesy of BJORN LINDGREN / TT/AFP/Getty Images)
It is safe to say that neither team wanted to be in this position, yet Canada and Russia find themselves battling for the bronze medal at the 2014 World Junior Championship. The two teams met in the bronze medal game at last year's WJC in Ufa, Russia, a game won by the host Russians.
Photo: Sweden forward Oskar Sundqvist scores what proved to be the game-winning goal in the third period of Sweden’s 2-1 semi-final win over Russia at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Two very different games played on during the semi-finals of the 2014 World Junior Championship. The first game of the day pitted Sweden against Russia, while the second featured Canada facing off against Finland.
Photo: Team Russia forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect meets with the media following his country’s win over the USA at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Team Russia took advantage of some penalty problems enndured by the USA to pull out a 5-3 win in their quarterfinal match at the 2014 World Junior Championship. The win sends the Russians on to the semi-finals where they'll meet the winner of the Sweden-Slovakia contest.
Photo: Team Russia players Nikita Zadorov (L) and Anton Slepyshev celebrate Zadorov’s go-ahead goal in their country’s 5-3 win over the USA at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of ANDREAS HILLERGREN/AFP/Getty Images)
After falling behind Team USA 3-2 in the first period of their quarterfinal match at the 2014 World Junior Championship, Russia proceeded to score the next three goals in the game to secure a 5-3 win along with a trip to the semi-finals.