Russia slams Czech Republic, challenges Canada in the semis
Expected win for Russia
And once again it will be a Russia – Canada exciting semi-finals match as Russia skated over Czech Republic with a 5-1 score. The winner will face in the finals who survives to the Sweden – Slovakia clash.
The match started a little bit better for the defensive minded Czech Republic as Vadim Zhelobnyuk – preferred by Nemchinov to Daniil Alistratov after the bad first period against Sweden – had to do a miraculous save against Ondrej Roman to not allow the Czechs getting the go-ahead goal. The great save shifted a bit the momentum in favour of the Russians who could enjoy a powerplay stretch at the tenth minute as David Stich tripped Sergei Andronov behind Furch’s crease. It took just one minute to Nemchinov’s team to spoil the chance as the same Andronov ripped off the puck to the opponent defense after a big blue line slap shot by Vyacheslav Voinov.
The second period seen Czech Republic trying hard to beat Zhelobnyuk, but despite his troubles in dealing with the rebounds he rejected all fourteen shots he faced. His colleague Furch was little tested, but managed to shut out the opposition too.
The third stanza started so with the game still open to any kind of result, but after seven minutes the crowd had little doubt about the winning team. An early goal by Filatov, his sixth goal of the tournament, scored with a laser wrist shot after a great pass by Evgeny Grachev from the Gretzky’s office – the area behind the crease – gave to Russians a two-goal lead, and Grachev himself made it 3-0 with a spectacular breakaway with his team double shorthanded.
It was too much for the Czechs, who reacted with a powerplay goal by Radko Guras just to allow another pair of markers late in the game, to Dadonov and Chernov to fix the score to 5-1.
The semi-finals will thus be Sweden – Slovakia and Russia – Canada. The winners will clash on Sunday to compete for the 2009 WJC gold medal.
Russia – Czech Republic 5-1 (1-0;0-0;4-1)
1-0 (11:53) S Andronov (Voinov, Chudinov)
2-0 (41:25) N Filatov (Grachev, Andronov)
3-0 (47:26) E Grachev (Kulikov) SH2
3-1 (48:01) R Gudas (Knotek, Ruzicka) PP2
4-1 (54:02) E Dadonov (Klyukin, Klopov)
5-1 (59:29) P Chernov (Golovkov, Kugryshev) PP
Story added on 3rd January 2009 at 09:47 GMT
Story submitted by: Alessandro Seren Rosso.