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Forward Nikita Filatov led Russia with two goals and an assist in Saturday's bronze-medal game. ((Petr David Josek/Associated Press))

Untouchable in the preliminary round, the United States will return from the world junior hockey championship empty-handed following a disappointing showing in the medal round.

Russian forwards Nikita Filatov and Alexei Cherepanov collected three points each to lead their team to a 4-2 win in the bronze-medal game in Pardubice, Czech Republic, on Saturday.

Russia chased American goaltender Jeremy Smith with three goals on eight shots in the first period en route to their fourth consecutive medal at the world juniors. The Russians took home silver the previous three years.

The U.S. finished fourth for the third time in four years after winning Group B with a 4-0-0 record in the preliminary round and outscoring the opposition 17-8.

The Americans had a chance to put a scare into Russia with seven minutes left in regulation when they had a two-man advantage for 79 seconds.

Jordan Schroeder was able to cut into a 4-1 Russian lead with his first goal of the tournament, a one-timer from the middle of the ice that eluded goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky at 13:39.

But the U.S. sealed its fate in the final four minutes when Cade Fairchild and Colin Wilson were assessed tripping and hooking penalties, respectively.

Evgeni Kurbatov had the other goal for Russia, which will have seven players eligible for next year's world juniors in Ottawa.

Cherepanov, a New York Rangers prospect, picked up a rebound and backhanded a shot past Smith to open the scoring four minutes into the game.

After Kurbatov notched his second goal of the tourney at 11:04 on the power play, Filatov tapped in a Cherepanov pass into an open net to make it 3-0 before the first intermission.

Filatov upped the lead to 4-0 at the 90-second mark of the second period with his fourth goal of the tournament. Standing at the top of the crease, he eluded a check from U.S. defenceman Jamie McBain and banged the puck by Joe Palmer, who replaced Smith to start the second period.

Rhett Rakhshani spoiled Bobrovsky's shutout bid at 10:44. After taking a pass from Kyle Okposo, he skated across the slot and rifled the puck under the crossbar.