Only two days removed from winning the International Hockey Lineal Championship from Sweden, Finland wrenched the IHLC from Russia on home ice at the Channel One Cup, with a 3-2 victory to take over ownership of the IHLC.
Russia dominated Finland in the first in virtually all departments but the scoresheet, outshooting the Leijonat 8-2, forcing Finland into costly penalties, and outpowering the smaller yet speedier Finnish squad. But it was Olli Palola that struck first, giving Finland the first lead of the game just over a minute into the second period, beating Konstantin Barulin on a feed from Pekka Jormakka. Russia evened things up five minutes later, taking advantage of Finland’s penalty troubles to net a Maxim Chudnov goal with a two-man advantage.
The teams played deadlocked through the second half of the second period, and the majority of the third, with Russia outshooting Finland 10-8 in both periods, and both Barulin and Atte Engrin playing sharp. But the near-certainty of overtime was erased with only ninety seconds remaining, as Teemu Hartikainen deflected a Anssi Salmela shot from the slot past Barulin to take the surprising 2-1 lead. With Barulin pulled, Juha-Pekka Hytönen scored a shorthanded empty net goal to seal the win, and while Ilya Kovalchuk did manage to net a power play goal with Barulin still pulled, it was with one second remaining, merely a statistic amongst the disappointing finish.
With the win, Finland, playing Russia for the IHLC for the 85th time in history, wins its 47th International Hockey Lineal Championship title, its first since winning it from the Russians at the Czech Hockey Games in August, their last meeting. Finland will play its first title defence game against cross-border perennial rivals Sweden tomorrow, with final Channel One Cup standings and the IHLC on the line.
00:26 – PEN – Radulov, slashing
00:26 – PEN – Salmela, cross checking
04:30 – PEN – Jaakola, slashing
09:12 – PEN – Perezhogin, slashing
17:37 – PEN – Karalahti, hooking
21:04 – GOAL – Palola (Jormakka, Koho)
24:21 – PEN – Koskiranta, hooking
24:48 – PEN – Mäenpää, slashing
26:13 – PP2 GOAL – Chudinov (Medvedev)
30:56 – PEN – Zubarev, roughing
32:29 – PEN – Puustinen, roughing
40:48 – PEN – Karalahti, hooking
43:10 – PEN – Biryukov, kneeing
46:52 – PEN – Medvedev, holding
57:39 – PEN – Kovalchuk, slashing
58:30 – PP GOAL – Hartikainen (Salmela, Maenpaa)
58:52 – PEN – Koho, illegal stick
59:01 – SH EN GOAL – Hytönen (Kemppainen)
59:59 – PP GOAL – Kovalcuk (Radulov, Tereshchenko)
W: Engren (26-28)
L: Barulin (15-17)
SHOTS ON GOAL
2+8+8 = 18
8+10+10 = 28
Goaltenders: Atte Engren, Mikko Koskinen. Defence: Teemu Hartikainen, Topi Jaakola (A), Janne Jalasvaara, Jere Karalahti, Mikko Mäenpää, Petteri Nummelin (C), Atte Ohtamaa, Anssi Salmela. Forwards: Joonas Donskoi, Tommi Huhtala, Juha-Pekka Hytönen (A), Pekka Jormakka, Joonas Kemppainen, Ville Koho, Jarno Koskiranta, Olli Palola, Janne Pesonen, Juuso Puustinen, Toni Rajala, Jere Sallinen, Tomi Sallinen.
Goaltenders: Konstantin Barulin, Alexander Yeryomenko. Defence: Yevgeni Biryukov, Maxim Chudinov, Denis Denisov, Bogdan Kiselevich, Yevgeni Medvedev, Ilya Nikulin (C), Yevgeni Ryasenski, Andrei Zubarev. Forwards: Yegor Averin, Alexander Burmistrov, Ilya Kablukov, Denis Kokarev, Ilya Kovalchuk (A), Artemi Panarin, Alexander Perezhogin, Alexander Popov, Nikolai Prokhorkin, Alexander Radulov, Vadim Shipachyov, Alexei Tereshchenko (A), Viktor Tikhonov.