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Author: Alessandro Seren Rosso ( )Date: 01/24/2008
Bronze Medal Game: Russia crashes USA and grabs the third place

2008 U20 World Junior Championships

2008 WJC Bronze Medal Final: Russia crashes USA and grabs the third place.

After the disappointing loss by Sweden’s hand in the semifinals, Russia faces USA for the second time in the tournament. The first time, held during the preliminary round, was won by the Americans with a 3-2 score.

These are the tonight’s lines for Team Russia:

Tikhonov – Sayustov – Golubtsov – Kalimulin – Kurbatov
Cherepanov – Mamin – Filatov – Seleznev – Doronin
Korolev – Bodrov – Gordeev – Aleksandrov – Voinov
Milekhin – Anisimov – Kugryshev – Chudinov – Dadonov

Bronze Medal Game:
USA - Russia - 2:4 (0:3, 1:1, 1:0)
GOALS: 0:1 - 03:59 Cherepanov Alexei (Filatov Nikita, Mamin Maksim); 0:2 - 11:04 Kurbatov Evgeniy (Tikhonov Viktor), pp; 0:3 - 16:57 Filatov Nikita (Cherepanov Alexei); 0:4 - 21:30 Filatov Nikita (Mamin Maksim, Cherepanov Alexei), pp; 1:4 - 30:47 Rakhshani Rett (Okposo Kayl); 2:4 - 53:39 Shreder Dzhordan (Sangvinetti Bobbi), pp
GOALIES: Smit Dzheremi - Bobrovskiy Sergey
Sudi: Kurmann Dånni (Shveytsariya), Ronn Yuri Petteri (Finlyandiya); Dzhobson Dzheff (Kanada), Vinnekens Feliks (Germaniya).
Shtraf: 24-12 (16-8, 4-0, 4-4)
SHOTS: 21-25 (9-8, 3-11, 9-6)
Luchshie igroki: Filatov Nikita - Sangvinetti Bobbi
Russia : 1 Bobrovskiy Sergey, 30 Galimov Stanislav, 3 Doronin Pavel, 6 Kalimulin Marat, 7 Cherepanov Alexei, 8 Kurbatov Evgeniy, 9 Gordeev Artem, 10 Bodrov Evgeniy, 11 Tikhonov Viktor, 12 Anisimov Artem, 13 Korolev Anton, 15 Mamin Maksim, 16 Golubtsov Vadim, 17 Sayustov Dmitriy, 18 Kugróshev Dmitriy, 20 Seleznev Yakov, 21 Filatov Nikita, 23 Aleksandrov Yuriy, 24 Voynov Vyacheslav, 27 Dadonov Evgeniy, 28 Chudinov Maksim, 29 Milekhin Mikhail.

The bronze medal game starts off a bit slow, and we have to wait up to the fourth minute to see something worth, and at the first chance Russians get the first goal: after a lost faceoff in the offensive zone, Alexei Cherepanov (New York Rangers) poke checks an opponent, sending the puck left to Nikita Filatov. He then feeds Maxim Mamin, who shoots. The rebound is cleverly picked up by Cherepanov shoulders to the crease. Alexei then kicks the puck to the stick and with a backhander gets past the goalkeeper, still down to the ice, for his third goal of the tournament.

A couple of minutes later Cole tries to feed Carman from defense. Carman doesn’t touch the puck and thus the whole arena believes it’s an icing call, but the ref doesn’t whistle. American forward plays the puck and Kalimulin has to hook him down for a penalty to avoid an extremely dangerous situation. It’s a good chance for our opponents, since their powerplay is the second of the WJC. Sergei Bobrovskiy faces a lot of shots, but none are really dangerous enough to get in the back of the net. The two teams get back at full strength, and Cherepanov goes away with the puck, flanked by Filatov, and Rust must be dirty to stop the Rangers’ prospect. Like the powerplay stretch of before, this two minute man advantage for Russia is nicely played, but without threats for Smith. Midway thru the first period Russia has the chance to double the score as Vyacheslav Voinov shoots from the blue line, putting Smith in troubles. Filatov picks up the rebound and shoots again, but the attempt hits the goalpost.

But the crowd doesn’t have to wait long to see another Russian goal. At the eleventh minute Russia has the man advantage again because of a stupid penalty by Flynn (hit from behind to Pavel Doronin) and thus Nemchinov’s squad can double the score. Viktor Tikhonov serves back Kurbatov, whose slapshot hits the goalie pads and goes in thru his five-hole. American Ryan Flynn will have to do a conscience exam as his penalty was really avoidable.

Team USA tries to react, being two goals behind is not good for them. One minute after the goal they go on a powerplay because of a tripping call on Gordeev. The first powerplay was more active, but they do have a great scoring chance during a scramble just in front of Bobrovskiy, but the shot by high-touted Wilson is high over the crossbar. The ref whistles again, it’s five on three as Kalimullin skates to the penalty box. The Americans get dangerous at once: Sanguinetti tries the fortunes from the distance, Bobrovskiy stops. After the attempt Russians can go on counterattack, Anisimov serves Dadonov, but his shot is wide. Teams at full strength, the match is still interesting despite Russian supremacy. The game keeps flowing, and when the scoreboard signals that only three minutes are left from the first period, Russia scores again. Cherepanov intercepts a weak pass by Schroeder and catapults towards the goalie. Once in front of Smith, Aleksei instead of shooting serves Filatov on his left, whose one-timer lights the red lamp behind the glasses for his third WJC goal. Great goal scored by Russian the duo that showed not only their talent, but also their level of understanding on ice. Three goals is a good margin of advantage and thus the game slows down as Russia plays for containing the opponents, and despite a couple of penalties the score remains unvaried, 3-0 Russia. Good play by our national team, able to down a team that had beaten us in the preliminary stage and with some good players in the line-up, like Wilson and Van Riemsdyk.

For the second period the American coach John Hynes decides to change his goalkeeper, opting for Joe Palmer, a nineteen years old prospect drafted by Chicago Blackhawks in the 2006 entry draft. Russia starts the period on a powerplay because a hooking by Montgomery in the last seconds of the first fraction. Vadim Golubtsov gets two chances, but both attempts exalt the new goalkeeper’s abilities, but when Nemchinov ices the second line, the music changes straight away. Maxim Mamin wins a faceoff in the offensive zone, and Cherepanov has the puck on the left side. With a clever pass he puts it in the slot, finding Mamin again. The Metallurg player sees his first shot to be reflected, but on the rebound with a perfect timing he kicks the puck towards Filatov, left of the crease, who puts it in the back of the net with a quick one timer. Second goal of the game for the young CSKA player, really raising his stock for the next NHL draft, that with this mark has virtually secured a victory for his team. At the fifth minute of the second period the Russian golden boy could make it three goals, but his shot was nicely gloved by Palmer, who repeats himself four minutes later on Cherepanov, once again launched by a nice pass by Filatov.

The game comes out nicely for Russia, but at the eleventh minute they have to take a stop. Okposo works nicely a puck along the glasses and centers it for Rakhshani. The New York Islanders prospect controls the puck and puts it in the back of the net with an accurate wrist shot in the top right corner. American players take some braveness from this goal, but after a couple of minutes they are again short of one man as Schroeder holds Korolev to penalty. After a nice, but not accurate, attempt by Golubtsov, the second line is once again dangerous. The puck passes quickly on the sticks of Cherepanov, Filatov, Mamin, then again Cherepanov. Aleksei shoots from the distance, Palmer manages to stop the shot, but without blocking it. The puck starts rolling towards the goal line and only a perfectly-timed intervene by Summers rescues team USA, denying the fifth goal to the Russians. It’s the Cherepanov-Filatov duo who keeps the game alive, and to some extent even exciting. During another powerplay stretch, two minutes to the second horn, Filatov skates behind the crease and sees Cherepanov in the slot. He serves him with a great pass, but the consequent one-timer hits the goalpost. In the dying seconds of the second period the Americans turn dangerous with a short range attempt by Montgomery, but Bobrovskiy’s glove clamps the shot once again. Very good second period for team Russia, just as usual during the whole tournament in which it seemed that it was the strongest twenty minutes for them. With a three goals advantage for Russia, the game is virtually closed.

The third period starts slowly, but Russia has a chance in the very first seconds with Golubtsov, rejected by Palmer. On the rebound Viktor Tikhonov hunts the goal, but an opponent deflect his attempt. Team USA makes the game now, and at the fourth minute Schroeder feeds Sweatt, but Bobrovskiy denies once again. The Americans push, but their disadvantage is really too deep for them, and even the 2-4 mark, scored by Schroeder on a two men powerplay, can’t reopen the hostilities, as the game was already closed after the first period. A couple of late minutes penalties to Americans broke any other attempt to our opponents and the Russians can celebrate the umpteenth non-gold medal of the last years.

This was however a very good game played by Nemchinov’s team, especially by the second line of Cherepanov-Mamin-Filatov. Their play was strong throughout the whole game, scoring three out of four goals of the team.

Alessandro’s player of the game: Alexei Cherepanov (New York Rangers) and Nikita Filatov
They both deserved the award. Two goals and one assist for Nikita, one goal and two assists for Aleksei, plus other chances. Their play tear apart Americans’ defense as they couldn’t contain their speed and combination play. Great players they are! I have to admit that I am impressed more by Filatov than by Cherepanov in terms of technique, but I also liked Aleksei’s way of making the little things that are vital for the team’s good.

Other notes…

  Dmitriy Kugryshev (2008 eligible), Right Wing
Grade: C
Has played little time only. As said several times, in the medal round he was a fringe player of the team. To be revised at the next Under 18 WC.

  Nikita Filatov (2008 eligible), Left Wing
Grade: A-
What a game! A double, one assist, some other chances. He is only 17, enough said. During this WJC we discovered that he is fluent in English as his mother studied in America for the university studies, or something like that.

  Alexei Cherepanov (New York Rangers) (New York Rangers), Right Winger
Grade: A-
See Filatov, a part for the English language skills. He has technique and smartness, and was really a factor in this WJC, maybe even more than last year when he was less mature as a player and as a person.

Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers) (New York Rangers), Center
Grade: B-
Honestly, I think that he is a better player than Maxim Mamin, even if the latter played quite a good game tonight. He also looked better when played between Cherepanov and Filatov, forming an extremely strong troika for Team Russia, and then one has to ask why Nemchinov put him only in the fourth line.

  Yuri Alexandrov (Boston Bruins) (Boston Bruins), Defender
Grade: B
Alexandrov was playing in a more offensive role tonight, and it wouldn’t be that bad if he could replicate it more often. He was near to the goal at the thirty-third minute. Good game, and the low pressure environment of the game allowed him to stay concentrated, making a very good job on defense.

  Vyacheslav Voinov (2008 Eligible), Defender
Grade: C+
Overall good game, nothing  special. Has a good one timer and likes to use it especially on the powerplay. Just like Cherepanov, he looked more mature than last year.

  Maxim Chudinov (2008 Eligible), Defender
Grade: C
He didn’t do much. The same speech made for Kugryshev can be applied to him as well.

  Evgeny Dadonov (Florida Panthers), Right Winger
Grade: C
Back in the lineup after the earlier games in which he didn’t play, Evgeny Dadonov from Chelyabinsk hasn’t impressed at all. Playing with Kugryshev he was probably a bit rushed to do things and thus he didn’t exploit the chance Nemchinov had him. We’ll see how he does at the WC under 18 to be held in Kazan, Russia, in the next April.

Related Player Profiles: . Y.Alexandrov A.Anisimov A.Cherepanov M.Chudinov P.Doronin N.Filatov V.Golubtsov M.Mamin V.Tikhonov V.Voinov
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