BUFFALO, N.Y. — Wow, Russia. Woe, Canada
Artemi Panarin scored twice and Russia overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period to stun Canada 5-3 in the gold-medal game in the World Junior Hockey Championships on Wednesday night. (Scroll down for photos.)
Yevgeni Kuznetsov had three assists as Russia scored five times in a 16:11 span to win its first gold medal since 2003 – and 13th overall. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and assist, and Maxim Kitsyn and Nikita Dvurechenski also scored for the Russians, who scored five times on 10 shots in the third period.
Igor Bobkov proved to be the difference, stopping all 20 shots he faced in replacing Dmitri Shikin, who was yanked after allowing three goals on 18 shots.
Russia ended a five-game losing streak to the Canadians, a stretch that included three losses in gold medal games.
Brayden Schenn had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Ellis and Carter Ashton also scored for Canada, which lost the title game for the second straight time after losing to the Americans 6-5 in overtime last year.
Once the final horn sounded, the Russian players stormed off the bench to mob Bobkov. Then a number of players came together to lift coach Valeri Bragin on their shoulders and tossed him in the air before a silenced and stunned crowd, that was already heading for the exit after Dvurechenski scored with 1:16 left.
Tarasenko motioned to the crowd during the celebration but after several beer cans were thrown at the Russians from the stands.
Earlier on Wednesday, Chris Kreider scored twice, leading the United States to a 4-2 win over Sweden in the bronze-medal game. After winning gold last year, the Americans won medals in consecutive tournaments for the first time, and also won their first medal in five times hosting the event.
NOTES: Tournament organizers project the 11-day event will finish with an overall attendance figure of more than 330,000, which would make it the second-most attended junior tournament behind Ottawa, which drew 453,282 in 2009. More than 60 percent of the tickets sold went to Canadian fans as Buffalo is a 90-minute drive from Toronto. ... USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean anticipated the large Canadian turnout, and indicated future tournaments in the U.S. will be awarded to cities close to Canada. The U.S. is next set to host the World Juniors in 2018. ... IIHF President Rene Fasel met with newly elected NHL Players' Association chief Donald Fehr in Buffalo, and was scheduled to have dinner with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman later. Fasel said he's open making some concessions, but ruled out providing monetary compensation to the NHL in a bid to have NHL players compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. ... USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer said 2.8 million ounces of beer were sold before Wednesday.