ST. LOUIS - After a career-best NHL campaign in 2014-15, Vladimir Tarasenko volunteered for duty with the Russian National Team at the 2015 IIHF World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Yaroslavl native, who tied for fifth in goals during the NHL regular season (37) and led the League in first-round playoff goals (6), is representing Russia for the 11th time in his young career – an honor that he cherishes with every opportunity.
“It’s proud for me to play for our country,” Tarasenko told stlouisblues.com before the 2014 Olympic Games. “It’s a dream in my life.”
Tarasenko captured a Silver Medal with Russia in the tournament, contributing four goals and three assists (seven points) in 10 games played.
Below is a game-by-game breakdown of Tarasenko’s tournament games.May 17: Gold Medal Game - Canada 6, Russia 1
Russia fell to Canada 6-1 in the finals of the 2015 IIHF World Championships. Tarasenko posted two shots in 13:28 of ice time, while capturing a silver medal - his first career medal in World Championship play. Overall, it was his third career medal in international competition as he previously won silver at the 2009 U-18 World Juniors and gold at the 2011 U-20 World Juniors.
May 16: Russia 4, USA 0
Russia advanced to the Gold Medal game with a 4-0 win against the United States on Saturday afternoon. Tarasenko was held without a point in 15 minutes, 56 seconds of ice time in the contest.
May 14: Russia 5, Sweden 3
Russia advanced to the semi-finals with a 5-3 win over Sweden on Thursday. Tarasenko posted his best statistical effort of the tournament, logging a goal and two assists in 15:28 of ice time. Russia jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to be caught by Sweden, who pulled even at 3-3 with just over six minutes remaining in regulation. However, Russia got late goals from Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) and Tarasenko (empty-net) to ultimately advance. Next, Russia will face the U.S. in the semi-finals on Saturday, while the winner will face either Canada or the Czech Republic in the tournament final.
May 12: Finland 3, Russia 2 (SO)
Tarasenko logged two shots on goal in 16:36 of ice time as the Russians fell to Finland in a shootout in their final preliminary game. Finland’s Pekka Rinne (Nashville) stopped all five shootout attempts he faced, including Tarasenko, who took the Russian’s third-round shot. With a 4-1-1 record in group play, the Russians have advanced to the quarter-finals where they will take on Sweden on Thursday.
May 10: Russia 3, Slovakia 2
In a back-and-forth game in which each team held a one-goal lead, Team Russia outlasted Slovakia. Russia fell behind 1-0 but stormed back with two unanswered goals, including Tarasenko’s third of the tournament to give them a 2-1 lead early in the third period. After an equalizer from Slovakia’s Marian Gaborik (Los Angeles), the game went into overtime where Artemi Panarin (SKA St. Petersburg) scored to give Russia their fourth win of the tournament. Heading into the final game of the preliminary round (May 12 vs. Finland), Tarasenko is riding a three-game goal streak (3-1-4).
May 9: Russia 7, Belarus 0
Tarasenko’s minutes continued to climb (16:56) and he delivered on the scoresheet as Russia trounced Belarus. Tarasenko scored Russia’s second goal, his second of the tournament, and assisted on their seventh for his first multi-point outing of the Championships.
May 6: Russia 5, Denmark 2
The Russians earned a 5-2 victory over a resilient Denmark club. Russia held three separate two-goal leads in the game, including a 3-1 tally entering the final frame. Denmark inched closer on a third-period power play goal from Thomas Spelling (SonderjyskE Vojens) but the comeback effort fell short. Sergei Mozyakin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk) made the score 4-2 with just under three minutes remaining while Tarasenko notched his first tournament goal just 48 seconds later. Overall, Tarasenko played 16:20 in the victory.
May 4: USA 4, Russia 2
The United States opened the scoring in the first period and never trailed in their 4-2 win over Russia. Russia entered the third period down 2-1, before Mark Arcobello (ARZ Coyotes) put the U.S. up 3-1 with just over eight minutes remaining a regulation. Sergei Plotnikov (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl) pulled Russia to within one with just under four minutes remaining but Brock Nelson’s (NY Islanders) empty-net goal sealed the game for the Americans. Tarasenko posted one shot in 9:58 of ice time.
May 3: Russia 5, Slovakia 3
Team Russia jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead and never looked back en route a 5-3 win over Slovakia. Tarasenko, in his first tournament outing, posted four shots on goal in 13:40 of ice time.