The U.S. National Junior Team finished fourth in the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship after a 4-2 loss to Russia today in the bronze medal game of the event.
“It was disappointing to finish the way we did after such a good start in this tournament,” said U.S. Head Coach John Hynes. “We lacked the intensity we needed today.”
Russia jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the opening period. Alexei Cherepanov put home a backhanded shot in front at 3:59 for the game’s opening goal. With Russia on the power play, a shot from the center point by Evgeni Kurbatov deflected off the skate of U.S. defenseman Chris Summers (Michigan) and past netminder Jeremy Smith (Plymouth (OHL)) at 11:04. A cross-crease feed by Cherepanov found Nikita Filatov at 16:57 for the final tally of the period.
Filatov put home a rebound on the power play past U.S. netminder Joe Palmer (Ohio State) 1:30 into the second stanza to increase Russia’s lead to 4-0. Team USA got on the board at 10:47 when Rhett Rakhshani (Denver) maneuvered in front after a feed from Kyle Okposo (St. Paul, Minn.) and beat Sergei Bobrovsky high to the glove side. Russia had a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Jordan Schroeder (U.S. National Under-18 Team) had a terrific chance from between the circles for Team USA five minutes into the period, but Bobrovsky was up to the challenge. Schroeder, however, did score at 13:39 from the high slot through traffic with the United States on a five-on-three power play. Bobby Sanguinetti (Brampton (OHL)) drew the lone assist on the play. Team USA continued to put pressure on down the stretch, but could get no closer.
Smith had five saves in the first period for Team USA, while Palmer played the final two periods and had 16 stops. Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves for Russia.
NOTES: The United States finished fourth in the World Junior Championship, with four wins and two losses in its six games … Team USA’s Player of the Game was Bobby Sanguinetti … James vanRiemsdyk (New Hampshire), Chris Summers (Michigan) and Colin Wilson (Boston University) were named Team USA’s best three players of the tournament … The United States has played for either the gold or bronze medal in the World Junior Championship for a U.S.-record six straight years … James vanRiemsdyk finished as Team USA’s leading point getter with 5-6–11. He scored a goal in five of Team USA’s six games … Colin Wilson was Team USA’s top goal scorer with six, including a natural hat trick in the preliminary round against Finland … Jordan Schroeder (U.S. National Under-18 Team) had seven assists to pace Team USA … The 2009 World Junior Championship will be played in Ottawa, Ontario. The United States will host the event in 2011 at a site-to-be-determined.