It took until the seventh round of the shoot out for Team USA to defeat Russia and advance to the gold medal game of the 2017 World Juniors.
After three rounds of the shootout, Russia led 1-0. Some thought it was over. Like the NHL, the IIHF uses a three-round shootout during round robin games. In the elimination rounds, the IIHF moves to five.
From the IIHF Regulations:
2. The procedure will begin with three (3) different shooters from each team in a Round Robin or in a Preliminary Round Game or five (5) shooters in a playoff, Bronze Medal or Gold Medal Game of a top category Championship, taking alternate shots. The players do not need to be named beforehand. Eligible to participate in the Penalty-Shot Shootout will be the four goalkeepers and all players from both teams listed on the official game sheet except as specified in article 3 below.
Adding to the confusion was the fact that the IIHF only listed the shootout procedures for round-robin games on its World Juniors tournament info.
If no goal is scored in the overtime period then the Penalty-Shot Shootout (PSS) procedure will apply. The following procedure will be utilized:
Three different shooters from each team will take alternate shots, until a decisive goal is scored.
Thankfully, they clarified that the officials got the call right.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) January 4, 2017
Note, it's 3 shootout rounds in round robin, 5 shootout rounds in playoff/medal games. Sport Regulations: https://t.co/1BTHB236DW
— IIHF WJC (@iihf_wjc) January 4, 2017
While Russian coach Valeri Bragin was aware of the lengthened shootout, not all the players on his bench were.
Bragin said postgame that the coaches knew it was a 5-rd shootout, but that a few players didn't which is why they got excited after 3 tries
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) January 5, 2017
Charlie MacAvoy: "We knew there were 5 rounds in the shootout. The Russians apparently didn't. I bet they wish it was three now" #WJC2017
— Uffe Bodin (@UffeBodin) January 5, 2017
The US needed every bit of those additional rounds. They’ll face the winner of Canada/Sweden for gold tomorrow.