Makarov magnificent as Russia nips USA

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, December 29, 2012 | 12/29/2012

Andrey Makarov earned Player of the Game honors Friday thanks to a sparkling 41-save performance as Russia earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the USA.

Makarov made several point-blank stops, including perhaps his biggest in the game's second minute when he pushed from right to left in stopping a mini three-on-one break.


The Saskatoon Blades reigning MVP was tough from start to finish in the Russian crease, using quick limbs, and at one point even his head, to steer pucks out of danger.

Mikhail Grigorenko punched five shots on goal while winning 50% of his faceoffs (8/16). Despite being listed on paper as Russia's second line centerman, the 6-foot-2 distributor was the focus of an American clamp-down for much of the contest, as the defensive pressure pushed Grigorenko to the outside on the majority of his opportunities.

Team USA captain Jake McCabe, who finished the game with one shot on goal, showed a strong compete level while again being paired with Connor Murphy. His active stick was one factor in keeping Nail Yakupov off the scoreboard for the second straight game.

Russia will look for their third straight victory Saturday against Germany. Next up for Team USA is a Sunday showdown with Canada.

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