Nikita Nesterov: silver medals mean you lost the final. Bronze medals mean you won the 3rd place match

You had a two-goal lead against Canada, but only secured the win in the overtime. What happened?
We had too many penalties; plus I made a mistake when Canada scored their fifth goal. However, our team spirit prevailed.

Is bronze a precious metal for our team, or there could only be one place, and that’s the first?
Of course it is precious! Today’s win is very important. You see, last year some of us did not even wear the silver medals because we lost in the finals. This time it was a victory, even though worthy of bronze medals.

Was there any difference in strategy between tonight’s match and the one against Canada on group stage?
We lacked confidence in our first encounter; tonight we did not allow them to dictate their pace completely.

Did the comments about team’s supposed active night life affect you at all?
Honestly, we did not care. We know that we never have any piss-ups, especially during large tournaments like these.

What’s next for you?
I’m heading back to the club. Not a night club, hockey club (laughs). Traktor has a match against CSKA. And please, dear journalists, do not come up with acrid articles entitled ‘How U-20 team Russia throws a bronze medal bash’. Every single one of us is heading back to our respective clubs and everyone will celebrate the victory like they want to.

Photo by Yulia Dmitriyeva