Sweden beats undisciplined Russians
Hosts got a good start to the LG Hockey Games.
Team Russia has been dominating the Euro Hockey Tour for the last couple of years. For LG Hockey Games in Stockholm, Sweden they left some of the stars like Morozov at home. And instead of the entertaining game they have been known for they played a very undisciplined game against Sweden.
Russia took 13 minor penalties and two ten minute penalties in the game against Sweden. That was too many as Sweden scored three goals on the power play and won the game 4-3.
Russia had seven minor penalties already in the first period which gave Sweden the momentum and a 3-1 lead. Sweden's first goal however was scored on even strength when Mattias Tjärnqvist deflected a flip shot by Ragnarsson into the net. The goal was allowed after a video review reviewing a possible high stick.
Daniel Widing made it 2-0 from a defenders position on a power play. Aleksandr Suglobov pulled one back when Johan Holmquist let an easy shot in. Holmquist a questionable choice as Sweden's starter. Kenny Jönsson made it 3-1 when he finally found the net for Sweden after a long 5 on 3 power play.
In the second period Russia got an early goal disallowed as the ref meant Holmquist already blocked the puck. The Russians were not pleased with the decision and the Russian coach Bykov was very upset with the Finnish duo on several occassions during the game.
Later however the Russians made it 2-3 when Maksim Rybin scored short handed. He did some nice fore checking that forced a bad pass by Ragnarsson, Schastilvy won the puck and fed Rybin with an empty net.
The goal gave the Russians some more energy and cheared by a couple of hundered loud supporters they had some chances to tie the game. But the lack of discipline gave them more penalties and the hunt for 3-3 was resultless,
The second period ended with a brawl that led to some penalties and another Swedish power play, On another PP later in the third period Mattias Weinhandl made it 4-2, the goal was scored after a Russian mistake gave Sweden a 4 on 1 counter attack. Weinhandl later had the chance to kill the game but his penalty shot was weak. Before the penalty shot Saprykin scored what turned out to be the last goal of the game.
Sweden can thank Russia's discipline for the 4-3 win, the Russians have to rethink about their game and can't only blame the referees.
In the other game in Prague, Finland won 5-3 versus the Czech Republic.
Story added on 5th February 2009 at 22:39 GMT
Story submitted by: Fredrik Pålsson.