Similarly to the first match-up between these two teams during the preliminary round of the tournament, Russia and USA created offence in different ways. The United States spent time in the opposing zone through the cycle, while Russia created their chances off the rush. A great pace to the first period with very few whistles allowed both teams, with plenty of skill, made for a very entertaining frame.
It would be Team Russia that would strike first, after forcing a couple of turnovers in the American zone, Kirill Kaprizov put it in from underneath Tyler Parsons with the wraparound.
Kaprizov gives Russia an early 1-0 lead pic.twitter.com/T9tO8lsser— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
It was the first time that the United States trail in the tournament, but with less than a minute left Clayton Keller was able to squeeze the puck from the through Ilya Samsonov to tie the game. During the first intermission, officials determined that the puck deflected off Colin White, thus giving him credit for the goal.
Russia quickly retook the lead barely more than a minute into the second. A slapshot from Vadim Kudako resulted in a large rebound from off of Parson's left pad and Denis Guryanov found his spot in front to slam the puck in.
Gurianov puts Russia back on top 2-1 pic.twitter.com/ow1xAUcFFs— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
The Americans then capitalized on their powerplay opportunities. A pass by goalie Tyler Parsons eventually made its way to Jordan Greenway, who passed it right on the stick of Luke Kunin. He was able to tip the puck past Samsonov to tie the game.
Sick passing by USA ties it up at 2-2 pic.twitter.com/nf09JM3Cty— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
The Americans would get their first lead of the game when Colin White scored his second by having his shot deflect off Mikhail Sergachev, who was trying to block it. The puck floated past Samsonov, who was unable to follow it quickly enough.
Colin White gives USA the 3-2 lead pic.twitter.com/pwVOSbyG6q— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
The pace would not let up in the third. After a USA power-play expired, the back-and-forth continued between the two teams. Samsonov would make a game-saving stop off a penalty shot. Clayton Keller would get the opportunity after being brought down by a Russian defender.
The save would pay immediate dividends as Guryanov would also get his second of the game. He chased the puck down the ice and got the breakaway, tucking the puck through Parsons' five-hole.
Guryanov with the goal to tie it for Russia pic.twitter.com/OrQQZsqGBj— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2017
Sergachev would step up in the third more than he had during the entire tournament. On the penalty kill he made two huge blocks, making it difficult for Team USA to gain access to high danger areas. He also showed the ability to keep the puck within the blue-line in the offensive zone, several slick dangles, and delivered a few good hits.
It’s somewhat unfortunate that international hockey rules has a shootout after 10 minutes of overtime, as most fans would agree you could watch this type game all day long. However, it is a shootout that we went to, and it was nearly as entertaining as the rest of the game. The five-hole seemed to be both goaltenders main weakness, as the majority of the shootout goals went between the legs.
Troy Terry would be the hero, as he would score three goals on three attempts, including the game-winner to lead the USA into the gold medal game. They will face either Canada or Sweden on January 5th.