Final game of the 2017 Junior Club World Cup featured the same teams that had opened the tournament. Reigning Kharlamov Cup champions Krasnaya Armiya Moscow faced Swedish champions MODO, who had lost all of their round robin games, but beat the host-team of the tournament Avto Yekaterinburg in the quarterfinal and then Snezhnye Barsy Astana in the semifinal. Tonight they faced another Junior Hockey League team and the top contender of the tournament.
In their first game of the round robin Krasnaya Armiya took down MODO 5-2. However, despite the final score, it wasn’t a walk in the park for ‘Red Army’ as they were once down 2-0. They had to sweat buckets to beat a less experienced opponent.
The teams opted for fast-paced hockey right off the bat letting each other know neither of them would give in. Despite expectations, it wasn’t Alexander Samoilov who got to start for Moscow but Artyom Korepanov. As for MODO, they went with Dennis Westergård, who looked solid in his first game Krasnaya Armiya and made a few big saves.
Early part of the game was almost the exact copy of the first meeting between the two with the only difference that this time it took MODO seven and a half minutes to establish a 2-0 lead. They scored both of their goals with long shots. First Anton Karlström sniped it top-shelf past Korepanov. ‘Army men’ stormed down the ice looking for the game-tying goal but got caught on a counter-attack and Linus Ost-Pettersson blasted another one from the blue almost ripping Krasnaya Armiya’s net. Korepanov was heavily screened and didn’t see the shot. The red-and-blue are no strangers to being down by two goals at the tournament – they had to deal with the same situation in the game against Snezhnye Barsy as well. This is why Mikael Sundell’s men didn’t have any reason to think this one was over. Krasnaya Armiya looked really strong late in the period and as result got one goal back. The puck was put on net from the point, Yegor Filin tipped it and Westergård couldn’t put his pads together in time. Right before the intermission Sebastian Walfridsson got a game-misconduct for clipping, leaving MODO with just six defensemen.
Not even a minute into the second period Krasnaya Armiya tied it up. Cross-pass to the far post and Mikhail Mescheryakov redirects it into the net. ‘Army men’ created a lot of great scoring chances, the most vivid of which had Daniil Lobanov but he couldn’t capitalize on a breakaway – Westergård made the save. MODO failed to score on a powerplay but right after that Korepanov had to put his skill on display to stop the Swedes on a breakaway – Krasnaya Armiya netminder lost his stick but still diffused the situation. MODO had two more scoring chances right after that – another breakaway opportunity but this time it was Nicholas Müller who got shut down. Late in the second period Krasnaya Armiya got another man-advantage and once again made it count – Lobanov finally found the back of the net. Pavel Karnaukhov centered it for Lobanov and he redirected it past Westergård.
Early in the third stanza Krasnaya Armiya did follow their tradition and didn’t score. Even though, they had a marvelous chance but Westergård pulled off a huge save. Nine minutes into the period Lobanov went from being a hero to being an anti-hero as he got a 5-minute major and a game-misconduct. Moscow had to kill off a long 5-on-3 penalty and the Swedish side took advantage of it. Oscar Pettersson got the puck on a rebound and sent it past Korepanov to make it a 3-3 hockey game. Krasnaya Armiya killed the remainder of the penalty and then scored on a quick counter-attack. Pavel Podluboshnov got the puck from Mikhail Mescheryakov, gained some speed, got in on a breakaway and beat Westergård between the wickets. That proveed to be the game-winning goal. Krasnaya Armiya went on to win the game 4-3 and for the second time in franchise history hoisted the World Cup.
“It was a tough final for us,” said Krasnaya Armiya head-coach Rinat Khasanov. “Our team has great depth, which helped us at the tournament. Personally, I was very worried about the Swedes. MODO is a well-organized and skilled team. Besides, final games are always tough. I even thought that the boys had burned out a little. We gave our opponents a 2-0 lead again. We need to look into that and do whatever it takes to stop it. It was a very interesting tournament for me and a colossal experience. I learned a lot here.”
2017 Junior Club World Cup
August 27th, Yekaterinburg, CEC Uralets
Krasnaya Armiya (Russia) – MODO (Sweden) – 4-3 (1-2, 2-0, 1-1)
0-1 – Karlström (Müller) – 03-48
0-2 – Ost-Pettersson (Eriksson) – 07-29
1-2 – Filin (Myasischev) – 19-22
2-2 – Mescheryakov (Chmykhov, Podluboshnov) – 20-53 PPG
3-2 – Lobanov (Karnaukhov, Myasischev) – 39-51
3-3 – Pettersson (Berglund) – 48-58 PPG
4-3 – Podluboshnov (Chmykhov, Mescheryakov) – 54-27
: Korepanov - Westergård
Shots on goal: 35-25
Penalty Minutes: 37-41
Junior Club World Cup Award Winners:
Best goaltender: Matej Loubal
Best defenseman: Sebastian Walfridsson
Best forward: Pavel Podluboshnov
Top-scorer: Mikhail Mescheryakov
Tournament MVP: Pavel Podluboshnov