They gave a valiant effort, but in the end Ilya Bryzgalov was able to hold Team USA at bay. The Flyers netminder stopped 19 of 22 shots, and a stacked Russian squad led by the New Jersey Devils’ Ilya Kovalchuk finally pulled away with two goals late in the third period for the 5-3 victory at the World Championships.
The action was back-and-forth, and often frenzied at that, but the U.S. was ultimately out-gunned. Russia held a 30-22 shot advantage, which was a bit too much for Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop to overcome. Kovalchuk had a goal and assist.
Bryz had his moments, in both senses of the word. He came up large a couple of times while halting a 5-on-3, which essentially became a 5-on-2 at one point when one of his comrades came up with a broken stick. Then there was that Bryz moment where he ducked a shot, something we’ve seen before back here in the states.
I don’t know how I really feel about these plays. It seems like it would be a natural human reaction to duck out of the way of a projectile whizzing straight for your head. This time however the maneuver was accompanied by Bryzgalov helplessly flailing at the puck, which definitely adds something to the ridiculousness of it all.
>> Team USA Falls Short Against Russia [USA Hockey]