It’s not often that a championship final contains an upset, but that’s exactly what happened as Russia took home the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge gold with a 2-1 victory over the heavily favoured Americans.

The last time the Russians grabbed the gold at the tournament, the team managed to beat, you guessed it, the Americans 7-5 in a high scoring affair back in 2012. High scoring wasn’t exactly the story on Saturday, however.

With two minutes to go in the first, Vitali Abramov forced an American turnover which allowed Maxim Bain to beat goaltender Jake Oettinger for the 1-0 lead in the first. Alexander Yakovenko doubled up Russia’s lead five minutes into the second after absolutely destroying the puck with a wicked slap shot that Oettinger only wishes he was able to stop.

If anyone was going to score for USA, it was going to be Max Jones. Finishing the tournament in second place in scoring with 11 points, seven of which were goals, got the U.S. on the board with 90 seconds left with a quick shot to force a close game. The Americans pulled Oettinger in a desperate attempt to repeat as gold medalists, but their energy appeared to be drained as Russia skated away with the U17 championship for 2014. It was a disappointing finish for the Americans, who looked like the favourites thanks to the great play from Jones and Clayton Keller, the top two scorers after six games of play.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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