There are two ways to carry yourself after a big win.
You can hold your head high and acknowledge the efforts of the vanquished, or you can taunt the other team like middle school kids gesturing through a school bus window.
Members of the Russian team took the lower, more demonstrative road after bouncing the U.S. from the World Junior Championships Thursday morning.
According to Pete Blackburn of Next Impulse Sports (h/t Travis Hughes, SB Nation), Russia's junior squad bested the reigning champs 5-3 in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.
The Americans couldn't find a way past Russia's suffocating zone in the second and third periods of the game, and they struggled to find any penetration. The U.S. team pulled its goalie in the third, and a muffed puck by Boston University's Matt Grzelcyk led to the coup de grace—an easy, open-net goal by Russia's Pavel Buchnevich.
After scoring, Buchnevich skated past the U.S. bench and taunted the Americans before catching a stick to the face, courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks 2013 draftee Ryan Hartman.
Both players made unfortunate choices in this classless scenario, but the low-brow behavior ratcheted up to a new high when a member of Team Russia's staff began gesturing toward the U.S. bench.
Instead of trotting out the old, “You stay classy, Frozen Police State” line, it's best we all just shake our heads and put this behind us.
The Cold War is dead, and both Russia and America have bigger concerns than junior hockey gamesmanship.
We have a national debt situation to worry about, while they have a raging Pussy Riot to quell. In the meantime, let's try to make nice and be civil.
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