Russia beats U.S. in World Juniors medal round for third straight year

Sean Leahy
Russia beats U.S. in World Juniors medal round for third straight year
Russia beats U.S. in World Juniors medal round for third straight year

Russia will face Finland for gold in the 2016 World Junior Championship after defeating the U.S. 2-1 on Monday.

This is the third straight tournament that the Russians have knocked out the U.S.

The Americans opened the scoring in the first period after forcing a turnover in their defensive zone and letting Sonny Milano blaze up ice to set up Christian Dvorak.

Russia had a golden opportunity to get on the board late in the first, but the U.S. managed to kill off a 5-on-3 power play.

The second period, however, was the turning point in the game. The U.S. had several issues clearing the puck out of their zone and it cost them dearly. 

After U.S netminder Alex Nedeljkovic, who made 31 saves, stopped a Russian shot following a poor zone clearance and Pavel Kraskovski pounced on a loose puck in front to even the score. They would take the lead for good 2:48 later after Yegor Korshkov finished off a beautiful spin move by driving past American captain Zach Werenski and delivering the game-winning goal.

Russia and Finland will meet for gold on Tuesday following the bronze medal game between the U.S. and Sweden.

“They were a little faster than we expected and they got the puck on the outside and they beat some guys. It’s as simple as that," said U.S. head coach Ron Wilson afterward to NHL Network.

Wilson, who admitted before the game that he didn’t know any of the Russian players, probably knows a few of their names now.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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