A late goal by Sakari Salminen was enough to get Finland past Russia in the opening game of the 2013 Karjala Tournament, the final lead change in a wild 4-3 finish to allow the Leijonat to retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
The Finns opened the scoring in Helsinki early, with a Juuso Hietanen goal past Konstantin Barulin on Finland’s first powerplay put the hometown team ahead 1-0. However, Russia clawed back just over six minutes later, with a Yuri Alexandrov equalizer putting things at 1-1 after one period. Russia struck first blood in the second, capitalizing on two consecutive penalties to Jere Karalahti to allow Mikhail Varnakov to lift a shot past Jussi Rynnäs for the 2-1 lead.
However, Finland struck back with two quick tallies by Oskar Osala and Leo Komarov to pull ahead 3-2, the third lead change of the game. While The Big Red Machine would equalize early in the third on a Yegor Averin on a bad-angle shot, tying things at 3-3 with fifteen minutes to go. But not one to allow for another lead change, Salminen rifled a Tuukka Mäntylä feed past Barulin for the winning goal, in a period where Finland outshot Russia 9-3.
With the win, Finland wins its third game as part of its 46th and most recent International Hockey Lineal Championship reign, a title they won from Russia at the Czech Hockey Games in August, the last meeting between the two (who met for the 84th time over the title today) for the IHLC. Finland will next face the Czech Republic in Helsinki in two days, with big Euro Hockey Tour standing points and the IHLC on the line.
03:07 – PEN – Kiselevich, interference
03:45 – PP GOAL – Hietanen
09:01 – GOAL – Alexandrov (Popov, Nikulin)
15:47 – PEN – Karalahti, holding
18:57 – PEN – Karalahti, tripping
20:48 – PP GOAL – Varnakov (Chudinov, Medvedev)
22:21 – GOAL – Osala (Hartikainen)
26:49 – GOAL – Komarov (Pihlström, Laakso)
27:31 – PEN – Hagman, hooking
32:10 – PEN – Ryasenski, holding
45:43 – GOAL – Averin
51:46 – PEN – Burmistrov, cross checking
53:52 – GOAL – Salminen (Mäntylä, Karalahti)
58:49 – PEN – Kontiola, delay of game
W: Rynnäs (20-23)
L: Barulin (28-32)
SHOTS ON GOAL
11+12+9 = 32
13+7+3 = 23
Goaltenders: Niko Hovinen, Jussi Rynnäs. Defence: Juuso Hietanen, Topi Jaakola, Jere Karalahti, Lasse Kukkonen (A), Teemu Laakso, Sami Lepistö, Tuukka Mäntylä, Ossi Väänänen. Forwards: Juhamatti Aaltonen, Jonas Enlund, Niklas Hagman, Teemu Hartikainen, Jarkko Immonen, Leo Komarov (C), Petri Kontiola, Jori Lehterä (A), Oskar Osala, Antti Pihlström, Sakari Salminen, Petteri Wirtanen.
Goaltenders: Konstantin Barulin, Alexander Yeryomenko. Defence: Yuri Alexandrov, Yevgeni Biryukov, Maxim Chudinov, Bogdan Kiselevich, Yevgeni Medvedev, Ilya Nikulin (C), Yevgeni Ryasenski, Andrei Zubarev. Forwards: Yegor Averin, Alexander Burmistrov, Mikhail Glukhov, Ilya Kablukov, Enver Lisin, Artemi Panarin, Alexander Perezhogin, Alexander Popov, Nikolai Prokhorkin, Vadim Shipachyov, Alexei Tereshchenko (A), Viktor Tikhonov (A), Mikhail Varnakov.