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.
Photo: Boston University defenseman and Boston Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk is tied for the scoring lead on Team USA as he has picked six points (2G, 4A) in four games at the 2014 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Both teams won their first three games at the 2014 World Junior Championship, but both Russia and the USA also lost key matchups in the final game of the preliminary round, causing those countries to miss out on a less daunting start to the playoff round.
Photo: Buffalo Sabres forward Mikhail Grigorenko has seen limited action with the NHL club in 2013-14, scoring two goals and adding one assist in 18 games this season (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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.