Trio Of Panther Prospects See Duty As Russia Edges Team USA

Richard Wolowicz

Grimaldi was the best of the three but couldn't come up with the equalizer despite a very impressive third period.

Florida Panthers prospects Rocco Grimaldi, Vincent Trocheck and Yaroslav Kosov all played during Russia's tense 2-1 win over the United States in action from the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Rocco Grimaldi again played on a line with center J.T. Miller and John Gaudreau. Grimaldi had three shots on goal and finished with an even rating.

Vincent Trocheck was again flanked by Tyler Biggs and Mario Lucia. Trocheck had two shots on goal, won 13/19 draws and finished with a -1 rating. Trocheck was on the ice for both of Russia's goals.

Yaroslav Kosov played on Russia's third line with Valeri Nichushkin and Vladimir Tkachyov. The line produced the game-winning goal in the third period. Kosov finished with 2 shots on goal and a +1 rating.

Defenseman Albert Yarullin scored a power play goal in the first period to stake Russia to an early lead. It was his second goal of the tournament.

USA blue liner Jacob Trouba scored a power play goal in the second period to tie things up. Alex Galchenyuk collected his third assist and fourth point of the tournament.

In the third period, Russia's Valeri Nichushkin brilliant end to end rush led to an easy rebound shot by Vladimir Tkachyov for the deciding goal at the 4:10 mark.

Team America would press hard for the game-tying goal for about ten minutes. A key timeout call by head coach Mikhail Varnakov allowed Russia to settle down and they controlled the play for much of the remaining time. Grimaldi had a nice shot on a late power play chance but surprise starter Andrei Makarov was up to the task and Russia took all three points to climb into second place in Group B.

Click here for a detailed recap of the game from the official 2013 World Junior Championship site.

  • Rocco Grimaldi was better today than he was against Germany despite not registering any points. His line as a whole showed a lot of improvement. The trio produced two really nice scoring chances before Russia scored their first goal but failed to put the puck in the net. Rocco was much more assertive with the puck in third period, where he picked up all three of his shots on goal. He needs to play the whole game with that mindset. Grimaldi showed again today that he is a ferocious back-checker. I wouldn't mind seeing Grimaldi play with different line-mates for a spell. His effort has been very good but his line doesn't seem to be clicking when it comes to finishing.
  • Vincent Trocheck has been strong on face-offs and he is getting shots on goal. Trocheck was on the ice for both Russian goals but neither were really his fault. Unfortunately for Vince, the first goal ticked off his stick and eventually pin-balled past goalie John Gibson.
  • Yaroslav Kosov got banged up in the first period and missed some time. He returned and was really noticeable in the third period, registering two shots on goal and getting more involved in the play. His line conjured the game-winning goal out of nowhere during a tightly played start to the third period.
  • Both goaltenders were very sharp in the game. Andrei Makarov was a bit of a surprise starter but showed he was the right choice by stopping 41 of 42 shots. Gibson continues to impress for Team USA. He ended up being the loser but made a couple of real nice stops on breakaways to keep the Americans within striking distance.
  • I am usually not one to praise a coach but a full marks to Mikhail Varnakov for using his timeout at the perfect moment. The US had really tilted the ice for 2 or 3 minutes before the stoppage and were coming close to tying things up again. After the timeout (with a little over 7 minutes left) Russia took back the momentum and held on to get the win. Varnakov also made the right choice by going with Marakov in goal.
  • I think both of these teams are better defensively and probably better in goal than Canada but neither team will be able to outscore the Canadians when they meet if play is wide open. Canada looks to have far superior firepower. No one can match their first line talent and their second line looks better than the US or Russian first line.
  • Not much negative to say about either team. Both teams played hard and really well. This was simply a case where one side that didn't deserve to was going to lose.
  • Other games today - Group A: Czech Republic 3, Finland 1 / Sweden 3, Switzerland 2 in SO Group B: Canada 6, Slovakia 3
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