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Russians finish sixth at the WJC

Russians finish sixth at the WJC

Russians finish sixth at the WJC (Photo © Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Losing 4-3 against team Finland in the fifth place deciding game, Plyuschev’s team Russia got their second straight defeat and finished the World Junior Championships at a very disappointing sixth place, the worst result since 2001.

This year’s team Russia performed badly throughout the whole tournament, and the match against Finland was no different. Ramis Sadikov started between the pipes, with Igor Bobkov being iced after twenty-sixth minutes.

The first period counted three goals: Maxim Trunev opened the score, while Teemu Eronen made it 1-1 with the man advantage at the sixteenth. All the four Finn goals will be scored while on the powerplay. With only twenty-three seconds to play, Alexander Burmistrov scored the go-ahead goal for the Russians.

During the second period Plyuschev subbed Sadikov with Bobkov, which allowed a goal to the Finns ninety seconds to the second horn.

The third period decided the game. With a double man advantage Jyri Niemi made it 3-2, but Burmistrov scored his second goal of the game to tie it up once again. At the fifty second minute team Russia was caught with too many men on the ice and the Finns spoiled the chance getting the game winning goal with Edmonton Oilers’ prospect Teemu Hartikainen.

In the dying seconds Plyuschev recalled Bobkov on the bench for the extra-attacker, but the desperation move didn’t work and thus the Finns could celebrate a well deserved win.

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4 Comments

  • John

    The Russian team possessed all of the necessary skill and talent to contend for a Gold Medal, but Coach Plyuschev and his staff failed the team in the following ways: (1) the kids were not inspired to work hard, and (2) they were confused as to what to do once the other team brought the puck into their zone to attack the Russian net. There was no cohesive plan or strategy that would show the kids a way to win, and there was no spirit and competitiveness, which is so necessary in today’s hockey. For junior-aged players, the leadership has to come from the coaching staff!

  • Alexander Zaitsev

    While I agree that Plyuschev shouldn’t coach any team at all, I think that any player that needs motivation playing for his national team is not a good player.
    I stopped expecting gold medals from U-20 Russian team long time ago. Instead, I expect dumb goals allowed in the end of almost-won games. Last year in the game against Canada, this year against Switzerland.
    It’s just a lack of spirit in these players. I mean look at the Canadians. Whatever coach they have they will never stop fighting. Russian juniors have a lot to learn from their Canadian colleagues.

  • John

    Of course, Alexander’s point is very correct! Players have to have some sense of national pride, or, if notthing else, personal pride, and be willing to fight at least as hard as the other guys to be successul. Your comments bring to mind the play that Kulikov made in the final seconds of regulation time against Canada last year. If Kulikov would have just gotten out of the way, Zhelobnyuk would have easily stopped the soft shot from outside, and Canada would have run out of time before having an opportunity to get off a shot Kulikov was only 18 years old, but still, that had to be one of the worst hockey blunders ever!

  • Alessandro Seren Rosso

    John, not to talk about Klyukin’s attempt to score in the empty net, which lead to an icing call that caused the offensive-zone faceoff that start the tying goal’s rush…

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