Takes Silver in Under-18 World Championship
The U.S. National
Under-18 Team fell to Russia, 3-2, in the gold medal game of the
Under-18 World Championship Sunday in Minsk, Belarus. The team,
featuring a roster stocked with future college players, captures
the silver medal in the tournament, its second medal in three
years after winning gold in 2002.
With the scored
tied, 1-1, after two periods, Russia tallied two goals in a 1:06
span to seal the victory. Team USA climbed to within one goal
with :38 remaining on a marker by forward Phil Kessel, and then
the U.S. notched what initially appeared to be the game-tying
goal with just seconds remaining before it was disallowed due
to a dislodged net.
The contest represented the third straight year
that the U.S. and Russia have met in a medal game at the IIHF
Under-18 World Championship, and the second time in three years
that the United States has qualified for the finals. The U.S.
defeated Russia to take home the gold medal in 2002, and last
year lost in the bronze-medal game, finishing fourth.
The U.S. opened
the scoring in the first period on a power-play blast from Nate
Hagemo that bested Russian goaltender Anton Khudobin. Hagemo,
positioned on the left point, received a pass along the blue line
from Kevin Porter to set up the tally.
the score, 1-1, at 6:53 of the second period as Kiriff Lyamin
beat U.S. goaltender Cory Schneider.
In the final session Roman Voloshenko registered
an even-strength goal while Dimitri Shitikov tallied on a power
play to put Russia up 3-1.
In a frantic final two minutes, the U.S. made
it 3-2 at the 58:22 mark of the game as Kessel scored his seventh
goal of the event. Kessel, attacking the right side of the Russian
defensive zone, released a wrist shot past the glove of the Khudobin.
The U.S., with goaltender Schneider pulled for
an extra attacker, then scored what appeared to be the game-tying
goal with a few seconds left in
the game, but the goal was waved off.
"This team can be proud that they fought
until the absolute last second of this game and all the games
they played in the tournament," said U.S.
head coach John Hynes, who was the assistant at Wisconsin until
midway through this season.
Kessel, who at 16 was one of the younger players
in the tournament, led all goal scorers and amassed 10 points
(7-3) in six games to finish fifth overall in scoring.