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Shot Out: Vaughan Spectacular, But Russia Beats Team USA in WUG Semis


Despite 33 saves by senior goaltender Katie Vaughan over 65 minutes, Russia bested Team USA 3-2 in a shootout in the semifinals of the World University Games in Pergine, Italy Wednesday morning. The Americans will now face Japan for the tournament's bronze medal on Friday. Russia, meanwhile, is guaranteed at least silver as it will play Canada, the winner of the opposite semifinal, in the gold medal game.

The tightly-contested USA-Russia tilt lived up to its billing as a heavyweight fight between world-class rosters, standing as the best match of the tournament so far and the only one requiring a shootout after three even periods and a fruitless five-minute overtime.

Vaughan was at her best in the early going, after Miami University's Katie Augustine supplied a 1-0 lead 4:40 in. With 13:23 to go in the first period, Kalli Bates (Michigan) went off for delay of game, beginning a stretch where Team USA would be shorthanded for 6:51 of the next 9:44, including 51 seconds of 3-on-5 time. Although Oxana Afonina would eventually tie things up from the doorstep towards the end of the penalties, Vaughan's 15 often-fantastic saves in the opening frame minimized a potentially dangerous situation.

Team USA began to get a couple calls its way in the second period, and went back ahead 2-1 thanks to Amanda Abromson (Massachusetts) just 13 seconds into the squad's first power play of the contest, assisted by Miami teammates Morgan McGrath and Augustine. Just as had happened before, however, Russia answered an early-period U.S. goal with a late-period one, this time through Ekaterina Nikolaeva on yet another advantage with just 13 seconds remaining.

From there, defense and goaltending took over. Vaughan stopped all six shots she faced in the third period and overtime, while Russian Anna Prugova went 12-for-12 on the other end. The shot discrepancy was helped by two late penalties that resulted in 3:37 of consecutive power play time for Team USA, including a brief 5-on-3. Prugova turned aside several good attempts at a winner though, then stopped both Americans she faced in the three-round shootout that followed overtime to secure advancement for her team.

"I thought we played a great hockey game," head coach Mo Stroemel told USAHockey.com. "It was a tough game, but we did everything we wanted to do. I'm absolutely proud of the way our girls played, and we're looking forward to the next game."

Despite elimination from gold medal contention, Team USA still has a chance to make history Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, as the United States has not medaled in a World University Games hockey tournament since the ACHA began stocking USA Hockey's men's and women's entries in 2001 and 2011, respectively. The U.S. won bronze in the 1972 men's tournament, the country's only-ever podium finish.

Date
Game
HomeAwayTime (ET)
December 18
Semifinal 1
Russia (3)
United States (2)
10:00 a.m.
December 18
Semifinal 2
Canada (15)
Japan (0)
2:00 p.m.
December 19
Fifth Place
Great Britain
Spain
10:00 a.m.
December 20
Bronze Medal
 United States
Japan
10:00 a.m.
December 20
Gold Medal
Canada
Russia
2:00 p.m.

 
Team
GPWOTWOTLL+/-GF:GAPts.
1
Canada
5
5
0
0
0
+55
57:2
15
2
Russia
5
3
0
0
2
+23
35:12
9
3
United States
5
3
0
0
2
+1
15:14
9
4
Japan
5
3
0
0
2
+5
20:15
9
5
Great Britain
5
0
1
0
4
-34
5:39
2
6
Spain
5
0
0
1
4
-50
2:52
1

 
Name (Team)
GPMin.SAGASvs.Sv%GAASO
1
Kelly Campbell (CAN)
3
180:00
19
0
19
1.000
0.00
3
2
V. Ostrovlyanchik (RUS)
2
60:00
9
0
9
1.000
0.00
0
3
Chelsea Corell (USA)
3
178:14
60
3
57
0.950
1.01
1
4
Samantha Bolwell (GBR)
3
180:48
135
13
122
0.910
4.31
0
5
E. Rousseau-Sirois (CAN)
3
180:00
21
2
19
0.905
0.67
1
6
Anna Prugova (RUS)
6
305:00
141
14
127
0.901
2.75
0
7
Katie Vaughan (USA)
3
185:00
107
14
93
0.869
4.54
0
8
Nicole Jackson (GBR)
2
120:00
167
26
141
0.844
13.00
0
9
Hazuki Maeda (JPN)
6
214:05
94
15
79
0.840
4.20
1
10
C. A. Martin-Calero (ESP)
5
285:45
279
45
234
0.839
9.45
0
11
Yae Unosawa (JPN)
5
145:55
60
15
45
0.750
6.17
0
12
O. Tedone Linde (ESP)
3
15:03
17
7
10
0.588
27.91
0