World Junior Championship Recap: Team USA Beats Russia in Shootout to Advance to Gold Medal Game

Chris Young/The Canadian Press via the AP

In hockey, some games have the ability to keep fans on the edge of their seats. This afternoon, the United States and Russia IIHF World Junior teams certainly had that effect as the Red, White, and Blue defeated Russia in the shootout to advance to the Gold Medal game. 

Despite strong play from Washington Capitals top goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov, the Russians couldn’t find the break they needed to win. A third shootout goal from Troy Terry deep into the shootout helped the United States beat Russia 4-3 to advance the Americans to the Gold Medal game against the winner of the Canada-Sweden game. This was the second time in the tournament that the USA had beaten Russia.


Russia began the scoring with a wrap-around goal from Kirill Kripizov, who notched his eighth goal of the tournament. However, Samsonov seemed to have a lapse in concentration when a Colin White shot (originally awarded to Clayton Keller) caught the young netminder by surprise.

The Russians would need less than two minutes into the second frame to retake the lead, as a Denis Guryanov shot beat USA goalie Tyler Parsons to put Russia back on top 2-1. Vadim Kadako and Pavel Karnaukhov were credited with assists on the goal. The United States would answer on a Luke Kunin power play tally after Danil Yurtaikin and Yakov Trenin were sent to the penalty box within minutes of each of other for cross-checking and slashing, respectively.Colin White would score his second goal of the game with just under four minutes left to play in the period, and it would turn out to be the final goal through 40 minutes of play.

Russia started the final frame badly, as Karnaukhov would start the period in the penalty box on a carryover penalty from the second, and the United States was handed a penalty shot after Sergei Zborovsky was called for holding an opponent on a breakaway. Clayton Keller would be stopped by Samsonov on the subsequent shot. Keller and Guryanov would both score within a minute of the other late in regulation to send the game to overtime.

The extra frame turned out to be the most nerve-wracking period of the game, as both teams had quality opportunities to end it, and Samsonov kept the USA from winning it in sudden death with this beauty of a save. Neither team, despite glorious chances, managed to score, and the game was sent to the shootout.

The shootout turned out to be a thriller, with both goalies making crucial and well-timed saves to keep their countries in it. Colin White started the shootout for the Americans, but was stopped by Samsonov. Guryanov put the Russians on the board first in the skills competition, and Samsonov put the Russians ahead with a second consecutive stop on Clayton Keller. Parsons kept the US in it with a game-saving stop on Alexander Polunin. Joey Anderson would be stopped by Samsonov to keep the shootout alive. Denis Alexeyev was stopped by Parsons, advancing the shootout to an additional round.

In international shootout rules, the shooting order is reversed upon the addition of an another round, meaning Russia would get the chance to shoot for a second consecutive time. Mikhail Vorobyov converted on his opportunity, but Troy Terry would answer for the United States with a beautiful goal on Samsonov. Kaprizov’s attempt was stopped by Parsons, and Jeremy Bracco scored for the Americans to put the USA in front. Guryanov scored for the Russians and Terry scored his second of the shootout (in international rules, a team can send out  the same player more than one time) and Parsons stopped Polunin to give the Americans the chance to win it with a goal. Terry, up for his third shootout attempt, stuffed the puck past Samsonov to send the United States to the Gold Medal game, where they will face the winner of the Canada-Sweden game.

Terry’s Game-winning goal:

Vorobyov’s goal:

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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