Russia Beats USA to Advance to 2019 World Hockey Championship Semifinals – Bleacher Report

Twitter LogoCopy Link IconNHLRussia Beats USA to Advance to 2019 World Hockey Championship SemifinalsMike Chiari@mikechiariTwitter LogoFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2019 CommentsComment Bubble Icon

Russia remained undefeated at the 2019 World Hockey Championship and eliminated Team USA in the quarterfinals with a narrow 4-3 win at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Thursday.

Team USA will be without two key forwards in alternate captain Dylan Larkin and Derek Ryan, who were both injured in Tuesday’s (May 21) final preliminary round game vs. Canada. Larkin had three goals and two assists to his credit, including two game-winning goals, while Ryan contributed a goal and three assists.

Nikita Gusev and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev registered one goal and two assists apiece, and Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves on 32 shots in the victory for Russia, who advanced to the semifinals with the win.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and presumptive 2019 No. 1 overall NHL draft pick Jack Hughes each had two helpers for the United States in the losing effort.

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While Team USA had no shortage of chances throughout the game, Russia was the superior team, and it primarily carried the play by outshooting the U.S. 43-32.

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The Russians dominated Group B, winning all seven of their games and outscoring opponents by a cumulative mark of 36-7. Team USA had five straight wins sandwiched between losses to Slovakia and Canada and finished fourth in Group A.

Nikita Gusev broke the deadlock right in the third minute, skillfully catching a rebound and sending the loose puck right into Cory Schneider’s net.

Mikhail Sergachev doubled his team’s lead by hammering in a powerful slap shot when Russia had a one man advantage.

The winner moves on to Saturday’s semifinals and will play for a medal on Sunday, while the loser heads home.

Kirill Kaprizov restored Russia’s two goal advantage in the beginning of the third 20-minute stretch, capitalizing on a quick two-on-one breakaway.

Americans quickly replied with a perfect shot by Noah Hanifin who made the score 3-2, reviving his team’s hopes of saving the game. However, the Americans didn’t have enough time to celebrate after Mikhail Grigorenko perfectly directed the puck into opponent’s net, upsetting Schneider for the fourth time during the match.

Alex Debrincat scored for the USA, making the score 4-3 with less than three minutes remaining in the third period.

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