The USA rolled into the semi-finals at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship having outscored their opponents 21-2 in their prior three games, but it was their opposition, Team Russia, that is moving on to the gold medal game after they shut down the U.S. offense in a 2-1 win at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.W
The offensive hero for Russia in the win was forward Yegor Korshkov, who posted a goal as well as an assist on the first goal by Pavel Kraskovski (WPG). Goaltender Ilya Samsonov (WSH), who was playing the backup role for Russia through most of the tournament, was strong in net, stopping 25 of the 26 shots fired his way by the USA.
The U.S. opened the scoring halfway through the first period with Christian Dvorak (ARI) finding the net, but the Americans had trouble generating much of an offensive attack throughout much of the first two periods. Russia did an effective job of keeping the play to the outside, and when the U.S. did break through for a chance, Samsonov was there to stop them.
Russia struck for both of their goals in the second period, the first off the stick of Kraskovski, and the second being an unassisted effort from Korshkov. From there, the Russians kept the USA at bay, especially late in the third period when the U.S. was pressing to tie the game.
One of defenders from Russia’s sizable group of defensemen is Alexander Mikulovich, who plays for the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL. Mikulovich has played on the second pairing for Russia, posting one assist in the six games that he has played at this WJC. He spoke with the media after the win over the USA, with his comments being included in this Hockey’s Future video.
Game highlights from the Russia-USA semi-final contest can be viewed below.
Follow Chapin Landvogt on Twitter via @