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.
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.
The Spokane Chiefs’ Jared Cowen, an alternate captain for Canada who also played in the tournament last year, became the second Chief to win two medals at the World Junior tournament joining Bryan McCabe (Canada, 1994, ’95).
Panarin’s second goal put the Russians ahead for good with 4:38 left in the third. With Canada bottled up in its zone, Tarasenko circled the net and fed the puck in front, where Panarin squeezed a shot through Mark Visentin’s legs.
Panarin and Kitsyn scored 13 seconds apart to cut Canada’s lead to 3-2 at the 2:46 mark of the third period. Tarasenko tied it 4:33 later by one-timing a shot from the right circle. He was set up by Yevgeni Kuznetsov, who circled the net and then made a nifty blind pass through the middle, catching the Canadians sleeping.
It was a major disappointment for Canada, which built a 3-0 lead on Schenn’s goal 6:27 into the second period, and looked on its way to winning its sixth title in seven years.
Back stormed the Russians, who proved they had one more comeback left after rallying back from third-period deficits in each of their two previous victories.
Earlier, Chris Kreider scored twice, leading the United States to a 4-2 win over Sweden in the bronze-medal game.