Canada had medaled at the World Junior Championship for 14 straight years. They are without a doubt the most successful nation in the history of the tournament, but for at least one year, they're heading home without hardware.
In front of a partisan Ufa crowd on Saturday morning, Team Russia triumphed over the Canadians in the bronze medal game, 6-5, thanks to a thrilling overtime finish capped by a Valeri Nichushkin goal. It was the end to a back-and-forth contest that saw Russia take a 3-1 lead in the first period, Canada come back to tie the score in the second, Russia take 4-3 and 5-4 leads in the third before a Brett Richie goal pushed the game into overtime.
After Malcolm Subban's disappointing performance in Canada's semifinal performance against the United States (whether or not the loss was on his shoulders or not is up for debate), Jordan Binnington got the start in the bronze medal game. But when the Russians took the 3-1 lead just 12:06 into the period, the experiment quickly ended. Coach Steve Spott replaced Binnington after he made just two saves on five shots, and Subban ended up making 17 saves on 20 shots in relief.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins finished the tournament as Canada's leading scorer with four points in the bronze game and 15 total, and barring a six-point performance from USA's Johnny Gaudreau in the gold medal game will finish as the overall leader.
The bronze was Russia's third medal in the last three years after winning silver in 2012 and gold in 2011. The 15-time champ Canada leaves the tournament site in Ufa, Russia medal-less for the first time since 1998.