Buzzing The Net

World junior championship: Canada loses 2-1 to Russia, out of the medals for 2nd year in a row

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net
Canada reacts after their loss to Russia following their IIHF World Junior Championship bronze medal ice hockey game in Malmo
.

View gallery

Canada reacts after their loss to Russia following their IIHF World Junior Championship bronze medal ice hockey game in Malmo, Sweden, January 5, 2014. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk (SWEDEN - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

Late in the second period Sunday, Canada's Sam Reinhart bisected Russia's coverage with a textbook cross-seam pass through a tiny portal in the sticks filling passing lanes, as his older brother Griffin Reinhart, slid down from the point.

[Box score: Canada loses bronze-medal game to Russia]

In another time, another year, maybe a situation other than a world junior championship bronze medal game, it would have been a goal for Team Canada. Instead the puck hit the heel of the elder Reinhart's stick and bounced away, can you believe it dissolving into c'est la vie. That sequence, one of just many that determined the outcome in Russia's 2-1 win, summed up the kind of game and tournament it was for Canada.

The result means Canada has missed the WJC podium in back-to-back years for the first time since Hockey Canada created its Program of Excellence was founded in 1982. The national junior program still has a streak of 16 consecutive years of reaching the semifinal, for what that is worth.

The game's first 40 minutes at the Malmo Arena had a distinct lack of emotion. Russia built a 2-0 lead on an early power-play goal by Buffalo Sabres youngster Mikhail Grigorenko that went in off the foot of Canada defenceman Mathew Dumba and an Eduard Gimatov tally on a wrist shot from well out.

[What went wrong for Canada? 'Pretty much everything']

Canada carried the play from the second period onward, but Tampa Bay Lightning first-rounder Andrei Vasilevski (30 saves) was his typically solid self. The lone Canadian goal came off a deflection by Winnipeg Jets first-rounder Josh Morrissey 7:10 into the third period. Canada was gifted with a chance to tie shortly thereafter when Russia incurred its third too-many-men penalty of the game, but Russia's penalty kill weathered the pressure, with Andrei Mironov coming up with a key zone-clearing deflection to prevent Canada's leading goal scorer Anthony Mantha from getting an opportunity.

Vasilevski helped Russia beat Canada 6-5 to win the bronze game at the 2013 tourney. He also started, but did not finish, when Russia held off Canada by the same score in the 2012 semifinal before winning the silver.

[Sweden’s Jesper Pettersson suspended for gold-medal game vs. Finland]

Finishing fourth means Canada and the U.S. will be in the round-robin group based in Montreal during next season's world junior. The winner of the Sweden-Finland gold-medal game will also be placed in that group.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Sonny Gray not eligible for WBC after being denied insurance coverage

      Sonny Gray not eligible for WBC after being denied insurance coverage

      Oakland A’s ace Sonny Gray has been forced to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic after being denied insurance coverage for the event. Gray was on the DL for more than 60 days last year and he didn’t play in more than 10 innings after coming … More »

      Big League Stew - 12 minutes ago
    • Hockey Oscars: Best actor, actress and picture in puck movies

      Hockey Oscars: Best actor, actress and picture in puck movies

      The Academy Awards are Sunday, and once again despite having nine Best Picture nominees there isn’t a single sports film among them. EDDIE THE EAGLE WAS ROBBED! The last one nominated for Best Picture was “Moneyball,” and that was a movie about … More »

      Puck Daddy - 49 minutes ago
    • Daniel Bard's comeback bid is gaining momentum

      Daniel Bard's comeback bid is gaining momentum

      Daniel Bard is hoping to pitch his way back to prominence. For a time, Daniel Bard was one of baseball’s most effective and feared relievers. Now the 31-year-old right-hander is scratching and clawing for one more opportunity in the big leagues, … More »

      Big League Stew - 1 hour 0 minutes ago
    • Erik Karlsson gets terrified by alligator on golf course (Video)

      Erik Karlsson gets terrified by alligator on golf course (Video)

      The Ottawa Senators visit the Florida Panthers on Sunday, which meant that the players had a chance for a little rest and relaxation in the Sunshine State. Given their fortunes during his career, you’d figure Erik Karlsson has had his fill of golf. … More »

      Puck Daddy - 2 hours 15 minutes ago
    • Ravens' Matt Elam arrested in Florida on drug charges

      Ravens' Matt Elam arrested in Florida on drug charges

      Matt Elam, a highly disappointing former first-round pick for the Baltimore Ravens, wasn’t likely to garner much attention on the free-agent market next month – safeties credited with one tackle on defense in nine games rarely do. According to … More »

      Shutdown Corner - 2 hours 42 minutes ago