There will be more hardware for the trophy case of Alex Ovechkin along with two other members of the Washington Capitals. Just not gold.
Team Russia fell 1-0 to Team Finland in the 2019 IIHF World Championship semifinals on Saturday. This defeat didn’t end Russia’s run, however, as they met in the Bronze Medal game. But this was still just half of the Washington Capitals storyline.
In the other Saturday semifinal game, the Czech Republic fell 3-1 to Team Canada. That set up a Bronze Medal showdown featuring five Capitals members.
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This was a close, hard-fought game that required a shootout to decide it. Russia would come away with the 3-2 win.
Each team scored in the opening period. Mikail Grigorenko opened up the scoring to give Russia the early edge at the 13th minute.
But it wasn’t so lucky 13 for Russia. 41 seconds later, the Czech Republic tied the game with a goal from Michal Repik. They took the lead at 18:34 thanks to Dominik Kubalik. Team Russia tied it in the second with a goal from Artem Anisimov 39 seconds into the second period. After a scoreless third period the 2-2 game would be decided in overtime. Yet even that extra session wasn’t enough.
The Bronze Medal game came down to a shootout and thanks to goals from Ilya Kovalchuk of the Los Angeles Kings and Nikita Gusev, Team Russia came out on top for the 3-2 win.
Alex Ovechkin got one shot off in the game and was a -1. The Washington Capitals captain appeared in 24 shifts for 20:53. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov played for 20:17 for a total of 28 shifts and a -1. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov got the most ice time playing 23:44 for 39 shifts for a -1. Orlov registered three shots.
On the other side there’s definitely something up. Even though Jakub Vrana has done well, he has been getting a lack of playing time.
In a report from Russian Machine Never Breaks that featured a translated interview, a former Czech coach said, “I am very disappointed by Jakub Vrana. He doesn’t battle. He’s invisible.”
That was only a snippet of the full quote. Even though Vrana has been in the lineup in at least the last two games, he played just 10:50 for 16 shifts. No shots were recorded and Vrana finished with a -1. Dmitrij Jaskin played 15 shifts for 12:09 and was a -1.
Now hockey action has come to a close except for the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, and each of their fans. For those five players, they can now head to the offseason and begin training for 2019-20.
The Russian trio will be back next season. The future right now is in question for Vrana and Jaskin but on the Caps side of things, they appear to be going in opposite directions.
Stars and Sticks would like to congratulate Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov for winning the Bronze Medal with Team Russia.