This time it’s gold for Russia
by Martin Merk|22 JAN 2020
The Russian players celebrate with their gold medals after winning the final against Team USA. The "Red Machine" remained undefeated throughout the tournament.
photo: Vedran Galijas /
In the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games Russia has completed its set of medals. After silver in 2012 and bronze in 2016, the Russian U16 men’s national team swept through the tournament in Lausanne 2020 and could also not be stopped by their hardest opponent USA in the gold medal game.

While the Russians may have faced more adversity than in previous games, they yet had most of the game under control from an early goal to begin with until celebrating the tile following a 4-0 victory against the American rival in a sold-out Vaudoise Arena.
After celebrating on the ice, the Russians also posed for a team photo in the dressing room.
photo: Vedran Galijas /
The Red Machine never breaks. The Russian saying has not always proven to be true but it certainly did for their talented class of 2004 at these Youth Olympics in Lausanne.

“We prepared ourselves well for the tournament at our base in Novogorsk. That’s what helped us to perform so well. We had very good discipline, we just had one penalty. We played most of the time at equal strength or on the power play. That’s one reason,” said head coach Vladimir Filatov.

The pairing was the dream final after the previous games and one with Olympic history. Both Russia and the United States have won all games, most of them by clearly outscoring their opponents especially thanks to the first lines and the scoring talent of players like Russia’s Matvei Michkov, who came in followed by linemates Ivan Miroshnichenko and Ilya Kvochko in scoring, and Team USA’s Isaac Howard, who came in on par with Michkov in goals at the tournament.
Russia vs. USA (Final) - 2020 Youth Olympic Games (Men)
RUS USA 22 JAN 2020
The Russians were first in putting expectations into hard facts. With Frank Nazar in the penalty box for interference, Michkov beat goaltender Dylan Silverstein with a hard shot through the five-hole to open the scoring at 1:59.

The Russians allowed the United States few scoring opportunities in the first period and had the game firmly under control. With 33 seconds left before the first intermission they went up 2-0. A shot from captain Miroshnichenko went past Silverstein’s pad and Michkov was there to push it over the line.
Matvei Michkov scored Russia’s first two goals in the final against the United States, here the 2-0 goal.
photo: Vedran Galijas /
“It’s hard to describe my feelings. It was very cool. It’s the most important medal for players of our age. We played as a very disciplined team and managed to win. The teams were equally strong but we were disciplined and had more luck today,” said Michkov, who was the scoring leader with 9 goals and 5 assists.

Asked about this, he said: “It’s because of my linemates, my team and people supporting me so I can play hockey. I will present my medal to my parents when I’m back because thanks to them I’m here.”

In the second period Russian goaltender Sergei Ivanov was tested a bit harder than in the previous games and had more opportunities to show his skills.

Shots were 8-8 in the middle frame but more importantly it remained Russia only that scored goals. After Silverstein had blocked a Michkov shot during a Russian power play, Ruslan Gazizov capitalized on the rebound to put Russia up 3-0 at 6:46 and make the Americans’ task of a comeback even more difficult.
Interviews Russia - 2020 Youth Olympic Games (Men)
After winning Youth Olympic gold we spoke with Russian top scorer Matvei Michkov and head coach Vladimir Filatov.
RUS 22 JAN 2020
“I think the Russians just opportunized on their chances and we didn’t as well. Their offensive game is obviously amazing,” said Team USA captain Jimmy Snuggerud, who despite losing the last game looks at the positives. “It’s one of the best times I’ve ever had, just meeting these new kids and playing with them, becoming a brotherhood and playing against the best kids in the world, it was super fun.”

The Russians also came out strong into the third period trying to nip American dreams of a comeback in the bud. A breakaway goal at 5:13 increased the Russian lead to 4-0. Adel Safin sent a cross-ice pass to Vyacheslav Malov, who waited at the blue line to score.
Russia vs. USA (Final) - 2020 Youth Olympic Games (Men)