Russia's men's ice hockey team has lofty goals. With the 2014 Winter Olympic games taking place in Sochi, Team Russia is hoping to defend home turf and earn the gold medal.
Following Thursday's 8-3 loss against Team USA in the quarterfinal round of the International Ice Hockey Federation's World Championship, Team Russia might want to temper expectations.
After entering the second period down by a single goal, Russia allowed consecutive goals by the United States to fall into a 4-1 hole entering the final frame. Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was in the net through the first 40 minutes of play and registered 16 saves on 20 shots. Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov relieved Bryzgalov for the start of the third period and didn't fare much better. Varlamov allowed four goals in 20 minutes of work, registering only seven saves over that span.
Anaheim Ducks prospect John Gibson started for the United States and stopped 31 of 34 shots. Seven different players registered goals for Team USA, including a two-goal performance for Colorado forward Paul Stastny (who also collected two assists). Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith acted as the game's leading scorer, compiling five assists.
Team USA's opponent in the semifinal round has yet to be determined. Regardless, the team will return to action on Saturday.