A day after a solid defensive game cost them the International Hockey Lineal Championship, Belarus roared back in the second of a two-leg game against Russia to win back the title, dominating The Big Red Machine in a 6-4 victory on enemy ice.
Belarus first took the game in hand on the backs of a defensive performance, with Andrei Mezin only conceding a goal to Anton Glinkin on 18 shots in the first, ending the period tied 1-1 with a Andrei Mikhalyov goal for Belarus being the equalizer. It was the second where offense took over, with a three goal burst in the span of 2:30 putting them ahead 4-1, including a goal from Alexei Yefimenko, a power play tally from Dmitri Korobov, and a penalty shot scored by Dmitri Meleshko, the latter two coming just 40 seconds apart.
Russia would get two back on the strength of a pair from Vyacheslav Buravchikov, but Andrei Filichkin struck to send Belarus to the intermission with a solid 5-3 lead. Yevgeni Kuznetsov would cut the deficit on a penalty shot goal with four minutes left in the game, but a late Denis Bodrov penalty would spell the end for Russia, as Alexander Kulakov struck on the power play with just 37 seconds to go to finalize the score at 6-4. Mezin stopped 40 of 44 for the win, while Belarus pounded both Vasili Koshechkin and Ivan Kaustin, giving up four and two goals, respectively.
With the win, Belarus wins its fourth International Hockey Lineal Championship in its short hockey history, winning back the title they dropped to Russia just a day earlier in a 3-2 shootout loss. The win serves as Belarus’ first IHLC title since December, when they unexpectedly won the title from Switzerland at the Arosa Challenge. Belarus now advances with the title to the next phase of the Euro Hockey Challenge, facing the Czechs in another home-and-home series with the IHLC up for grabs.
05:54 – GOAL – Mikhalyov (Kovyrshin)
13:07 – GOAL – Glinkin (Kuznetsov, Popov)
15:47 – PEN – Kostyuchenok, hooking
18:59 – PEN – Stas, holding
22:32 – PEN – Tarasenko, hooking
23:14 – PP GOAL – Korobov (Pavlovich, Osipov)
25:04 – PEN SHOT GOAL – Meleshko
25:44 – GOAL – Yefimenko (Antonov, Osipov)
27:24 – PEN SHOT – missed
30:51 – PEN – Kovyrshin, tripping
32:11 – PP GOAL – Buravchikov (Tarasenko)
33:58 – GOAL – Filichkin (Khoromando)
35:22 – GOAL – Buravchikov (Tarasenko)
35:33 – PEN – Panarin, hooking
37:13 – PEN – Antonov, checking from behind + 10 min. misconduct
55:54 – PEN SHOT GOAL – Kuznetsov
58:12 – PEN – Bodrov, hooking
59:13 – PP GOAL – Kulakov (Drozd)
W: Mezin (40-44)
L: Koshechkin (12-16), Kasutin (10-12)
SHOTS ON GOAL
11+9+8 = 28
18+13+13 = 44
Goaltenders: Andrei Mezin, Dmitri Milchakov. Defence: Andrei Antonov, Andrei Filichkin, Mikhail Khoromando, Dmitri Korobov, Viktor Kostyuchenok, Nikolai Stasenko, Vadim Sushko. Forwards: Sergei Demagin, Artyom Demkov, Sergei Drozd, Yevgeni Kovyrshin, Alexander Kulakov, Dmitri Meleshko, Andrei Mikhalyov, Nikita Osipov, Alexander Pavlovich, Andrei Stas, Alexei Ugarov, Alexei Yefimenko.
Goaltenders: Ivan Kasutin, Vasili Koshechkin. Defence: Nikolai Belov, Denis Bodrov, Alexander Budkin, Vyacheslav Buravchikov, Maxim Chudinov, Roman Derlyuk, Nikita Pivtsakin, Yakov Rylov. Forwards: Nikita Dvurechenski, Anton Glinkin, Konstantin Gorovikov, Sergei Kalinin, Denis Kokarev, Yevgeni Kuznetsov, Artemi Panarin, Andrei Popov, Maxim Rybin, Vadim Shipachyov, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ilya Zubov.