Coming into the game the pair had the best power play percentage and Team Russia had the second best penalty kill. That all came into play as Team Russia converted on two power plays while Team USA failed to score with the man advantage on the five penalties they drew on the Russians.
Russia opened up the scoring with a goal at the 6:17 mark. Mikhail Grigorenko buried one past Team USA goalie Jon Gillies to put the US down a goal. Team USA evened things back up just over two minutes later when Stefan Matteau scored a dirty goal with assist from Jack Eichel and Brady Skjei.
Russia did not back down after Team USA made it 1-1 pushing back into the USA zone. Andrei Mironov took a shot from the left side that rebounded out to Pavel Buchnevich who just had to tap it into the wide-open net to put Russia ahead. Just like the earlier lead Team USA managed to tie it back up within a couple minutes. Matteau fed Ryan Hartman who was left alone by the defenders as he drove into the middle. Hartman backhanded the shot to even it up at two a piece with less than 8 minutes left in the first period.
Team Russia had a few scoring chances that Gillies handled well before the momentum shifted to Team USA who took the lead for the first time of the game. Riley Barber passed from the red line to Nicolas Kerdiles who fired a shot from straight a head over Andrei Vasilevski’s stick side.
The first half of the second period was a quite affair with neither team generating good scoring chances. Penalties became the name of the game for the second half as Team USA went on the 5 on 3 disadvantage twice within five minutes. Nikita Zadorov for Team Russia scored on a one-timer from the point both times his team had the two-man advantage. The first goal tied things up while the second pulled Russia ahead 4-3 with just over five minutes remaining in the second.
Team USA had a committed a couple penalties to start the third before getting two power play opportunities themselves around the halfway point. They were unable to convert on any of their man advantages leaving the score at 4-3. Team USA pulled their goalie with just over one minute remaining in game that lead to an empty net goal by Pavel Buchnevich in the final minute of play to make it 5-3 Russia.
Russia takes on the Sweden vs. Slovakia winner on Saturday at 1pm ET while Team USA’s tournament is over.