On January 2, the under 20 Russian national team played against the USA in the 2018 World Junior Championship quarter-final stage. Head coach Valery Bragin put Artyom Manukyan, German Rubtsov and Artur Kayumov in the first line together, keeping Vladislav Sukhachyov between the pipes. Joseph Woll was the USA's starting goaltender.
The Americans, who are the reigning world champions at this level, made an aggressive start. Kieffer Bellows opened the scoring within three minutes, ripping a one timer beyond Vladislav Sukhachyov on the powerplay. Marsel Sholokhov did equalise with a brilliant backhand effort under the goalkeeper's blocker, but the USA's Kailer Yamamoto gave the opponents a second lead when taking advantage of a slip by the Russian netminder. Vladislav Syomin was then chucked out of the game with a 5+20 penalty.
After being outplayed in the first, Russia stepped it up in the second frame. Vitaly Abramov was denied at point blank range by Joseph Woll, before Artyom Manukyan failed to hit the target with the goal at his mercy. At the other end, Vladislav Sukhachyov was a busy man, pulling off fourteen saves in the period. His best came against Patrick Harper, somehow preventing the American forward from scoring on the doorstep.
Our players show more aggression in the third period, equalising four minutes into the stanza. Andrei Altybarmakyan received the loose puck, sprinted to the slot, and backhanded beautifully past the beaten American goalkeeper. With the game on a knife's edge, the next goal was always going to be crucial, and unfortunately it was the USA who scored it. The puck took a ricochet off the boards, fell to the stick of Keiffer Bellows, and the American blasted a slapper into the net. Marsel Sholokhov should have made it a tied game in the final minutes, but he smacked the post. America sealed their victory in the dying seconds, as Joey Anderson hit the empty net after Vladislav Sukhachyov had been pulled for the extra skater. 2:4, Russia lose to the USA in the 2018 World Junior Championship quarter-finals.
USA - Russia - 4:2 (2:1, 0:0, 2:1)
1:0 Bellows (Tkachuk, Fox), 02.18
1:1 Sholokhov (Kostin, Elizarov), 10.32
2:1 Yamamoto (Mittelstadt, Samberg), 14.34
2:2 Altybarmakyan (Samorukov), 43.39
3:2 Bellows (Samberg), 52.31
4:2 J. Anderson (Poehling, Lindgren), 59.18
Goalkeepers: Woll - Sukhachyov
Shots on target: 42 - 29
Penalty minutes: 8 - 33
Russian Ice Hockey Federation