Sweden narrowly avoided an epic collapse in Mytischi, eking out a 5-4 victory over Russia after giving up four straight Russian goals to retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Tre Kronor came roaring out of the gate early, with Elias Lindholm starting things off early just 85 seconds in, knocking in a rebound off a Oscar Klefbom point shot past Anton Khudobin for the 1-0 lead. A quick pair of goals midway through the period, first an Anton Lander pass from his belly to Nicklas Danielsson ending up over top Khudobin, followed by a point shot laser from Oliver Ekman-Larsson quickly put the score at 3-0. An André Petersson point shot that fooled Khudobin on a screen had Sweden ending the first ahead 4-0, outshooting Russia 11-4.
Lander kept pouring it on midway through the second, rifling a wrister over Khudobin on a 2-on-1 break with Danielsson on the wing for the 5-0 lead. However, Russia quickly took the wind out of Sweden’s sails, striking just over a minute later on a Sergei Plotnikov one-timer that trickled past Jhonas Enroth to bring the Mytischi crowd alive, putting things at 5-1. Sergei Mozyakin closed the gap towards the end of the second, circling in from behind Enroth’s net and banging in a Alexander Popov rebound to dent the Swedish lead to 5-2, outshooting Sweden a whopping 22-5 in the period.
The onslaught of The Big Red Machine continued in the third, with the Russian attack continuing early, as Mozyakin got his second straight tally on a wrister from the top of the hashmark that floated past a screened Enroth to put the score at 5-3. And just over three minutes later, Popov blasted a slap shot from nearly the identical spot of the second Mozyakin goal, putting things at 5-4 in what was seeming to shape up as a remarkable comeback. However, despite keeping shots at 12-5 in the third, solid play from Enroth, paired with a duo of late Russian penalties, made the comeback fall just short, with Sweden escaping a surefire blowout with a too-close-for-comfort 5-4 win.
With the win, Sweden retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 74th, that they won from the Czech Republic on April 19 in the last phase of the Euro Hockey Tour. This marks the 139th meeting over the IHLC between these rivals, who last tilted for the title in December, where Russia won the IHLC in a 3-2 victory at the Channel One Cup. These two meet again tomorrow, with the winner cruising into the World Championships with the IHLC.
01:25 – GOAL – Lindholm (Klefbom, Rask)
08:44 – GOAL – Danielsson (Lander, Rahimi)
13:27 – GOAL – Ekman-Larsson (Lindström)
15:22 – PEN – Plotnikov, charging
15:22 – PEN – Rahimi, holding
18:05 – GOAL – Petersson (Johansson)
22:58 – PEN – Lander, hooking
26:19 – GOAL – Lander (Lindström, Klefbom)
27:40 – GOAL – Plotnikov (Averin, Apalkov)
29:46 – PEN – team, too many players
36:55 – GOAL – Mozyakin (Popov, Nichushkin)
42:49 – GOAL – Mozyakin (Kulikov, Nichushkin)
45:55 – GOAL – Popov (Mozyakin, Blazhiyevski)
46:14 – PEN – Danielsson, hooking
46:41 – PEN – Rahimi, cross checking
51:37 – PEN – Grigoryev, holding
59:24 – PEN – Nichushkin, high sticking
W: Enroth (34-38)
L: Khudobin (16-21)
SHOTS ON GOAL
11+5+5 = 21
4+22+12 = 38
Goaltenders: Jhonas Enroth, Joel Lassinantti. Defence: Jonas Ahnelöv, Niclas Andersén, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Johan Fransson, Oscar Klefbom, John Klingberg, Staffan Kronwall (C), Daniel Rahimi (A). Forwards: Nicklas Danielsson, Simon Hjalmarsson, Martin Johansson, Jacob Josefson, Anton Lander, Elias Lindholm, Joakim Lindström, Joel Lundqvist (A), André Petersson, Victor Rask, Mattias Sjögren, Marcus Sörensen, Andreas Thuresson.
Goaltenders: Anton Khudobin, Albert Yarullin. Defence: Viktor Antipin, Artyom Blazhiyevski, Mikhail Grigoriev, Dmitri Kulikov, Andrei Mironov, Roman Rukavishnikov, Yegor Yakovlev, Andrei Zubarev. Forwards: Daniil Apalkov, Yegor Averin, Anton Burdasov, Alexander Burmistrov, Denis Kokarev (A), Andrei Loktionov, Sergei Mozyakin, Valeri Nichushkin, Sergei Plotnikov (A), Alexander Popov (C), Sergei Shirokov, Anton Slepyshev, Viktor Tikhonov.