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.
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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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.
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.