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Russian hockey juniors sweeten pill with bronze win over Canada

Published time: January 05, 2013 12:48
Edited time: January 05, 2013 17:18
Russian Kirill Kapustin (R) fights for the puck with Canadian Tyler Wotherspoon (L) during their game for the third place at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship in Ufa on January 5, 2013.

Russian Kirill Kapustin (R) fights for the puck with Canadian Tyler Wotherspoon (L) during their game for the third place at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship in Ufa on January 5, 2013.

Russia finished the home World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa with bronze medals after topping archrival Canada 6-5 in a dramatic third place battle.

­Team Russia took their revenge on Canada after losing to them in the group stages 4-1.

Mikhail Varnakov’s men were quick to show they meant business, taking a 2-0 lead after just five minutes.

Aleksandr Khokhlachev opened the score for the hosts before Nail Yakupov doubled Russia’s lead on a powerplay.

The Canadians got one back through Ryan Nuget-Hopkins in the eighth minute, but Kirill Dyakov restored Russia’s two goal advantage 54 seconds later.

Canada substituted their netminder after that as he team’s No.1, Malcolm Subban, came in for Jordan Binnington.

And it were the Maple Leafs, who netted the period's final goal when Jonathan Huberdeau capitalized on his team having an extra skater.

And a great powerplay killing saw Stephen Spott’s men level the score in the second 20 minutes.

Mark Scheifele and Ryan Murphy netted for the visitors, while Russia could only reply with a single goal by Evgeny Mozer, 4-4.

Russia needed just a minute in the third period to retake the lead as Yakupov scored his second of the night on a powerplay.

But Brett Ritchie made sure that regular time would finish with a tied score, punishing the home defenders for failing to clear the puck from the crease, 5-5.

It was Russia’s third overtime in a row at the tournament in Ufa, but they somehow managed to preserve enough strength to deliver the final blow.

The team’s youngest player, 17-year-old Valery Nichushkin, produced a stunning solo effort to beat Canada’s keeper Subban in the far corner on the 63rd minute of play, 6-5.

Russia failed to claim the much-desired gold in the home event, but a win against archrival Canada has surely improved the mood of the country’s fans.

"We gave everything today, and that’s why we won," Nail Yakupov, Russia's captain, told the tournament's official website. "It’s life. It’s hockey. We probably lost some energy against Switzerland and then Sweden, that was tough. Today in the third period everybody still felt a little tired, but we worked hard and we gave 100 per cent."

"When you beat Canada in a special game like this at home, for me it’s like my own gold. I'm really happy," Daniil Zharkov, Russia's forward, added.

Defending champion Sweden, which beat Russia in the semis on shootout, will take on the US in the final later on Saturday.

Players of the Russian team celebrate their victory over Canada at the end of their game for the third place at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship in Ufa on January 5, 2013. (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)
Players of the Russian team celebrate their victory over Canada at the end of their game for the third place at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship in Ufa on January 5, 2013. (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)
Canada′s Jonathan Huberdeau, left, and Russia′s Naeel Yakupov fight at the third-place match of the World Junior Championship between Russia and Canada. (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)
Canada's Jonathan Huberdeau, left, and Russia's Naeel Yakupov fight at the third-place match of the World Junior Championship between Russia and Canada. (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)
Canada′s goaltender Jordan Binnington misses a goal at the third-place match of the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship between Russia and Canada. (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)
Canada's goaltender Jordan Binnington misses a goal at the third-place match of the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship between Russia and Canada. (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)