Monday, July 15Every Day Is A Great Day For Hockey

2010 U18 WJC: Team Russia finishes without medals

2010 U18 WJC: Team Russia finishes without medals

2010 U18 WJC: Team Russia finishes without medals (Photo ©

After the defeat against Team Sweden in the 2010 U18 WJC semifinals, Team Russia lost the third place to Finland losing the bronze medal game 5-1.

Team Finland got the lead only during the second period with a goal by Teemu Pulkkinen, then in the third period they scored four unanswered goals (with Pulkkinen getting the hat trick) to get a five goals lead.

Team Russia lost the nerves and at the 57th minute a fight broke out and six players were sent off, three for Finland, Hovinen, Partanen and Moisio, while for Russia Nikita Nesterov, Zakhar Arzamastsev and Maxim Shalunov.

On the 58th minute team Russia scored the consolation goal with Emil Galimov.

“I have no claims toward players”, declared team Russia’s head coach Mikhail Vasiliev, who once again iced 15-years old Andrei Vasilevski between the pipes.

Team USA won their second straight Gold Medal after defeating Team Sweden 3-1 in the April 23rd final. Team Russia captain Evgeny Kuznetsov has been included into the tournament’s All-Star team.


  • John

    Things looked promising for the U18 team early in the tournament, but the problem that plagued them in the medal rounds is the same problem that seems to have caused poor performances at U20 and all other junior levels-the inability to produce any kind of offensive pressure in the other team’s zone. The games were not on television here, but I followed them on the IIHF website. In the semifinal against Sweden, Sweden outshot Russia 28-14 in the first two periods. Probably by the start of the 3rd period, the Russians defense and Vasilevski were exhausted, and had nothing left to mount any kind of attack against Sweden.
    On the positive side, the team was even or nearly even in both the Semi-Final and bronze medal games going into the 3rd period, whereas in previous tournaments, the game had already been decided against them at that stage of the game. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done to make the Russian junior teams a contender for high medals in World tournaments.

  • Igor

    Our guys did not have the poor starts as in previous tournaments. But the third periods we played poorly. Offensive pressure is definitely something Russians need to learn. They would get a good scoring chance, and then the rebounds are cleared or there is a counter attack the other way. Against Sweden we also got physically dominated, so we will have to be tougher. That is now 3 tournaments in 2010 where Russia’s results have been disappointing (WJC, OLY and U-18). Overall, at all levels in hockey, we simply get outcoached. The first thing I notice is, we have s much talent, but we are missing team play and structure offensively and defesively. Hopefully in Germany at the Worlds they don’t let us down!

  • John

    You are right! In recent years, Junior-age teams haven’t been producing enough offensive chances to keep the opposition away from the Russian net. As you mention, for some reason, Swedish youth teams have been extremely confident against Russian teams in recent years, sometimes dominating them, which never used to happen! In last December’s U20 match, the Swedish team had complete control and possession of the puck, cycling around deep in the Russian zone and passing the puck to uncovered teammates for many, many outstanding scoring opportunities. The Russian team was largely unable to clear the puck out of their zone. I think they suffered not so much from defensive problems as the inability to possess the puck and advance it to the Swedish zone.
    It used to be Russian teams that dominated puck possession. I think the change has to do with the fact that other Federations have taken direct action to improve their hockey. The United States made the choice to develop a Soviet-style national team program in Michigan several years ago. They bring all the best players from around the country together and assign them to a national team, where they play together all year long under the supervision of the best coaches with a high degree of intensity. If you watched the USA junior teams train, it is like a page out of Anatoli Tarasov’s book, *The Road to Olympus.” Also, I believe Sweden and Finland have created national team programs, which I believe helps to explain their success in recent years.
    The Canadians don’t have a national team program that I am aware of, but they do have 60 top-flight Junior teams in a very competitive junior league. I hope for two things: (1) that the MHL will improve the number and quality of junior players that can be made available for intenationational compeittion, and (2) that the Russian Federation will renew the practice of forming national teams to enable the best Russian talent to train together intensively throughout the year. .

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