It didn’t take long for Russia’s MIG-29 fighters to shift into full combat mode. Alexander Syomin led the way in a 7-1 romp over Italy with two goals and an assist.
This Group D mismatch came down to skills and puck possession. The Russians made sure the Italians barely got to touch the little black disc, and then flattened their opponents’ defences like thin-crust pizza with lightning passes and shots.
Syomin took the game’s first penalty, but he quickly made amends by scoring the first goal for Russia, splitting the Italian defence and roofing a backhander past Italian netminder Thomas Tragust at 4:02.
The Russians toyed with their opponents for the rest of the opening period, outshooting them 16-3. At 13:10, Sergei Fyodorov tipped in a pass from Washington teammate Alexander Ovechkin, but the goal was waved off because Fyodorov was in the crease.
Fyodorov, playing his first IIHF World Championship game since 1990, wore #29 instead of the #91 he made famous in the NHL.
Just after an Italian penalty expired, the Washington connection clicked, with Ovechkin scooping up a puck at the side of the net and tucking it past Tragust’s right pad at 23:39. The assists went to Syomin and Fyodorov.
Midway through the game, the Russians had the puck on a string, and Alexei Morozov appeared to be robbed by Tragust on a wide-open chance set up by Ilya Kovalchuk. But after an extended video review, it was determined that Tragust’s glove was over the line, and it was 3-0 Russia.
“I had a feeling it was a goal, and so it was,” said Tragust. “No arguments there. The Russians have a lot of players that shoot well. There wasn’t much I could do.”
Just over a minute later, Alexei Tereshchenko stepped in from the point and rifled home a blast, and at 31:18, Syomin absolutely zinged a wrister over Tragust’s glove to make it 5-0.
Fyodorov had another goal waved off when the whistle blew due to a hand pass from Ovechkin. But Maxim Sushinski’s cheeky backhander from the edge of the crease gave Russia a six-goal lead with just over three minutes before the second buzzer.
Jason Cirone spoiled Alexander Yeryomenko’s shutout bid with 8:31 left, stuffing in a Patrick Iannone shot that trickled through the goalie’s pads on a 2-on-1 rush. Danis Zaripov beat Günther Hell, who replaced Tragust in the third period, to round out the scoring with Russia’s lone power play marker of the night.
Final shots on goal favoured the Russians 44-18. Next up, they face the Czechs in a likely showdown for first place in the group on 04 May, while the Italians clash with Denmark in hopes of avoiding the Relegation Round.
“We’ll have to get a lot better against the Czechs,” said Fyodorov. “Everything must improve, because it’ll be a faster tempo. Better passes, and the team game has to be better, so we need shorter shifts.”
NOTES: The result improved Russia’s all-time World Championship record versus Italy to eight wins and one tie…The Kazan line that dominated last year’s tournament in Moscow, each member cracking the Top Five in scoring, was split up, as Ilya Kovalchuk took Danis Zaripov’s place alongside Sergei Zinoviev and Alexei Morozov…The pre-game ceremonies featured appearances by IIHF President René Fasel, Québec hockey legend Jean Béliveau, Québec City Host Committee co-presidents Claude Rousseau and Jacques Tanguay, Hockey Canada director René Marcil, and Jean Leclair, Chairman of the Board of the 400th Anniversary Society. Béliveau got a standing ovation…“It was a little strange to have the CCCP logo there, but we had the Russian one too,” said Ovechkin of Russia’s retro look. “We consider it like a gift to the older players.”
01:23 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Syomin, tripping
04:02 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Syomin (Grebeshkov)
04:55 – 🇮🇹 PEN – Pittis, delay of game
07:28 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Sushinski, tripping
08:20 – 🇮🇹 PEN – Strazzabosco, holding
10:55 – 🇮🇹 PEN – Signoretti, holding
21:25 – 🇮🇹 PEN – Ramoser, hooking
23:39 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Ovechkin (Syomin, Fyodorov)
24:49 – 🇮🇹 PEN – Trevisani, roughing
29:01 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Morozov (Kovalchuk, Zinoviev)
30:12 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Tereshchenko (Afinogenov, Proshkin)
31:18 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Syomin (Grebeshkov)
36:58 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Sushinski (Gorovikov)
51:29 – 🇮🇹 GOAL – Cirone (Iannone, Scandella)
52:37 – 🇮🇹 PEN – Margoni, hooking
54:17 – 🇮🇹 PEN – Ramoser, hooking
55:38 – 🇷🇺 PP GOAL – Zaripov (Zinoviev, Morozov)
56;17 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Proshkin, tripping
57:46 – 🇮🇹 PEN – Ramoser, hooking
58:49 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Morozov, hooking
W: 🇷🇺 Yeryomenko (17-18)
L: 🇮🇹 Tragust (25-31), Hell (12-13)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇷🇺 16+15+13 = 44
🇮🇹 3+6+9 = 18
🇷🇺 Goaltenders: Mikhail Biryukov, Alexander Yeryomenko. Defence: Denis Grebeshkov, Dmitri Kalinin, Konstantin Korneyev, Danil Markov, Ilya Nikulin, Vitali Proshkin, Dmitri Vorobiev. Forwards: Maxim Afinogenov, Sergei Fyodorov, Konstantin Gorovikov, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexei Morozov, Sergei Mozyakin, Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Syomin, Maxim Sushinski, Alexei Tereshchenko, Danis Zaripov, Sergei Zinoviev.
🇮🇹 Goaltenders: Günther Hell, Thomas Tragust. Defence: Christian Borgatello, Armin Helfer, Armin Hofer, Carlo Lorenzi, Andreas Lutz, André Signoretti, Michele Strazzabosco, Carter Tervisani. Forwards: Luca Ansoldi, Paolo Bustreo, Mario Chitaroni, Jason Cirone, Giorgio De Bettin, Manuel De Toni, Nicola Fontanive, Pat Iannone, Stefano Margoni, Jonathan Pittis, Roland Ramoser, Giulio Scandella.
|🇷🇺 RUSSIA (C)||vs.||ITALY 🇮🇹|
(since 28 Apr 2008)
(+ 1 tie)
|First IHLC Meeting (RUS vs. ITA)
🇷🇺 URS 28-2 ITA 🇮🇹 – 26 Dec 1967 – WBM – Colorado Springs 🇺🇸
|Previous IHLC Meeting (RUS vs. ITA)
🇷🇺 RUS 8-1 ITA 🇮🇹 – 18 Dec 1994 – IT – Moscow 🇷🇺
|Last IHLC Game
🇷🇺 RUS 4-1 CAN 🇨🇦 – 28 Apr 2008 – EX – Québec 🇨🇦
|Next IHLC Game
🇷🇺 RUS 5-4 CZE 🇨🇿 (OT) – 04 May 2008 – WC – Québec 🇨🇦