Russia mounted a come from behind victory in the final ten minutes of their World Championship Quarterfinal tilt against Canada, knocking out Canada from the Worlds in the Quarterfinals for the second consecutive year, to advance with the International Hockey Lineal Championship in hand.
While both sides opened the game on a conservative note, largely avoiding the penalty box and keeping turnovers low, Canada still managed to pepper 17 shots on a sharp Konstantin Barulin, contrary to Russia’s six first period attempts on Jonathan Bernier, who both kept the game at 0-0 after twenty minutes. Jason Spezza broke open the scoring 5:32 into the second, being sprung on a breakaway by a long lead pass from Alex Pietrangelo, lifting a wrister past Barulin to take the 1-0 lead. And despite having four power plays in the second alone, Russia was unable to solve Bernier, and headed into the final 20 minutes trailing 1-0. And while it seemed nothing would go Russia’s way, especially what looked to be an equalizing goal from Ilya Nikulin was called back after video review, when it was determined the puck that deflected off the crossbar and post never crossed the goal line, Russia would eventually strike back.
While killing off a Yevgeni Artyukhin penalty, Alexei Kaigorodov stole the puck from Canadian defenceman Brent Burns, deked past him, then deked the proverbial pants of Spezza, leaving him wide open to race up ice on a shorthanded breakaway (with only Dion Phaneuf in chase), putting a blocker side wrister past Bernier to tie things at 1-1 midway through the second. Then, just over three minutes later, The Big Red Machine struck again, with a behind-the-net one timer from Alexander Radulov to Ilya Kovalchuk beating Bernier for the 2-1 lead. While Canada put on heavy pressure on Barulin and the Russian defence, they were unable to equalize, having their World Championship trip ended prematurely by Russia in the Quarterfinals for the second year in a row.
With the win, Russia captures their 59th International Hockey Lineal Championship title, their first since winning the title from Belarus in a 4-3 shootout win on the Euro Hockey Tour in April. Switzerland entered the Worlds with the IHLC, winning two before dropping the title to Canada, who won four straight prior to the Quarterfinals. Russia and Canada, meeting for the 86th time in their storied rivalry for the IHLC, last faced each other for the title in the 2009 World Championships Gold Medal Game, which Russia also won 2-1 to capture their 25th gold medal. Russia now moves on to the Semifinals to face Finland, with the IHLC and a trip to the Gold Medal Game on the line.
00:05 – PEN – Kovalchuk, interference
05:11 – PEN – team, too many players
25:32 – GOAL – Spezza (Pietrangelo)
25:55 – PEN – Zajac, slashing
29:27 – PEN – Kalinin, slashing
30:10 – PEN – Tavares, high sticking double minor
36:28 – PEN – Skinner, tripping
38:47 – PEN – Afinogenov, holding
39:27 – PEN – Tavares, roughing
45:31 – PEN – Yemelin, cross checking
47:24 – PEN – Artyukhin, interference
49:07 – SH GOAL – Kaigorodov
52:18 – GOAL – Kovalchuk (Radulov, Kalinin)
W: Barulin (36-37)
L: Bernier (18-20)
SHOTS ON GOAL
6+10+4 = 20
17+10+10 = 37
Goaltenders: Konstantin Barulin, Vasili Koshechkin. Defence: Vitali Atyushov, Dmitri Kalinin, Konstantin Korneyev, Dmitri Kulikov, Ilya Nikulin, Fyodor Tyutin, Alexei Yemelin. Forwards: Maxim Afinogenov, Yevgeni Artyukhin, Konstantin Gorovikov, Alexei Kaigorodov, Ilya Kovalchuk (A), Nikolai Kulyomin, Alexei Morozov (C), Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Radulov (A), Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexei Tereshenko, Danis Zaripov, Sergei Zinoviev.
Goaltenders: Jonathan Bernier, James Reimer. Defence: Brent Burns, Carlo Colaiacovo, Marc-André Gragnani, Marc Methot, Dion Phaneuf (A), Alex Pietrangelo, Luke Schenn. Forwards: Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Duchene, Jordan Eberle, Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd (A), Rick Nash (C), James Neal, Jeff Skinner, Jason Spezza, Chris Stewart, John Tavares, Antoine Vermette, Travis Zajac.