Nashville Predators prospect Vladislav Kamenev walked away from the 2016 World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland with a silver medal.
Kamenev, 19, had a team-leading five goals and six points as captain of the Russians, but it was not enough to earn that elusive gold medal.
Russia lost 4-3 to Finland in a thrilling overtime game. He had Russia’s first goal of the night.
Last year, he was a member of Team Russia when they lost 5-4 to Canada in the gold-medal game.
Losing is never fun, obviously, but losing hurts a lot more when a win was easily graspable. Russia had two leads in the game, and because of that, Kamenev called the loss to Finland more demoralizing than last year’s loss to Canada.
“A successful tournament would have been if [we] had won, and – no,” Kamenev, who was selected in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, told rsport.ru post-game. “Today, the defeat was much more offensive than a year ago in Canada.”
Of the five goals Kamenev scored in the tournament, none were more important than the game-tying and game-winning goals in Russia’s 4-3 overtime win against Denmark in the quarterfinals to avoid an upset elimination.
Amidst all the positives in Kamenev’s WJC outing, there was a negative. At 17:51 of the third period in the gold-medal game, Kamenev received a game-misconduct and a match penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. He struck a penalty box official with his stick and made the official bleed.
Kamenev will have to answer for his lack of discipline when he returns to North America in the coming days to continue the 2015-16 season with the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals.
Colin Fitts is a Nashville Predators staff writer for The Hockey Writers. You can follow Colin on Twitter, @FittsTHW, and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.