Team USA fell to Team Russia, 2-1 today’s World Junior semi-final held in Helsinki, Finland. Team Russia will take on Team Finland tomorrow for the Junior Championship. Team USA will take on Team Sweden for the Bronze medal. The Capitals’ 2015 first round draft pick Ilya Samsonov got the start in goal for Team Russia.
It was clear early that Team USA had much greater team speed, skating past Russian players on numerous occasions. Team Russia stepped up the attack in the second period, and limited Team USA to only five shots in the middle frame. Ilya Samsonov had a solid game in net for Team Russia. He stopped 26 of 27 shots.
Team USA struck first on a three-man break-away, which out-skated three Russian players for the goal, with Christian Dvorak getting the finisher at 9:04 of the first period. Samsonov had little chance to make the stop.
Team USA faced a 5-on-3 for two minutes late in the first period, but were able to kill the two-man advantage, limiting Team Russia to just three shots. The period would end with Team USA leading 1-0.
Team Russia would tie the game with 4:52 left in the period.
Team Russia would take the lead two minutes later, with what would eventually be the game-winner.
The second period would end with Team Russia leading Team USA 2-1. Team USA only managed five shots in the second period.
There was no scoring in the third period. Team Russia wins 2-1. The loss continuous Team USA’s dubious streak of never beating Team Russia in the medal round of the World Juniors.