Sidney Crosby propelled Team Canada into the final of the World Cup of Hockey 2016.
Crosby scored once and set up two goals by Brad Marchand, the second putting Team Canada ahead for good in a 5-3 win against Team Russia at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.
“I think that’s one thing that makes him such a good player, his determination, and he always comes up big in the big games,” Marchand said of Crosby. “You see plays like that, that’s where the leadership comes in. And when you’re able to lead at this level, of a group of leaders, then you’re able to take control, that just shows how special of a player he is, and he created that whole goal, and ultimately that did lead to turning the game around.”
Team Canada will play the winner of the semifinal between Team Sweden and Team Europe in the best-of-3 final that begins Tuesday. That second semifinal is here Sunday.
Corey Perry and John Tavares scored, and goaltender Carey Price made 31 saves for Team Canada.
Sergei Bobrovski made 42 saves for Team Russia.
“Well, I felt great. I tried to do as much as I can for the team,” said Bobrovski, who stopped 133 of 143 shots in four games. “I worked hard, I give everything I have. They were better than us today.”
Crosby scored 7:40 into the first period for a 1-0 lead, the third time in Team Canada’s four games he opened the scoring. His three goals are tied for the tournament lead with teammate Jonathan Toews, and Crosby’s seven points are the most.
After Nikita Kucherov and Yevgeni Kuznetsov scored in the second period to give Team Russia a 2-1 lead, Crosby made a brilliant defensive-zone steal and pass to Marchand for a goal and a 2-2 tie at 17:36.
“If we finish the second period with a [lead] it would be a different game,” Team Russia captain Alex Ovechkin said. “But they score, have to score a goal, and they play differently.”
Crosby set up Marchand again at 1:16 of the third period, this time for a low, long shot that beat Bobrovski to the far post for a 3-2 lead.
“He’s obviously a great hockey player, but he’s also a player who shows up in the biggest games and he scores goals in the biggest moments,” Patrice Bergeron, the third member of that Team Canada line, said of Marchand, his Boston Bruins teammate. “So, no surprise as far as I’m concerned, and he deserves credit for the way he’s playing.”
Perry scored at 5:48 for a 4-2 lead, which Tavares extended to 5-2 at 9:22.
Artemi Panarin scored at 19:53 to make it 5-3.
NOTES: Team Russia centre Pavel Datsyuk, an alternate captain, was unable to play because of a lower-body injury. He was replaced by defenceman Nikita Nesterov as Team Russia used seven defencemen and 11 forwards. Centre Vadim Shipachyov, who played Thursday against Team Finland, was scratched…Team Canada scratched forward Claude Giroux and defenceman Jake Muzzin…Marchand missed a hat trick late in the game when he did not score on a long-range shot with the goalie pulled…Team Canada has trailed twice in this tournament. Team Russia led for 1:12 Saturday, and Team USA led for 1:29 in the preliminary round before losing 4-2.
IHLC: With the victory, Canada retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 62nd title all-time, which they won from Team USA in a pre-tournament matchup, and retained against Russia in exhibition play, and against the Czechs and Americans in group play. In the 89th IHLC meeting all-time between these two since their first showdown in 1954, Canada improves to three straight wins against Russia (since the Gold Medal Game at the 2015 World Championships), although the Russians still lead the all-time series 52-24-13. Canada also improves to 3-0 in IHLC wins over Russia at the World Cup, improving on wins in 1996 and 2004.
Canada will now meet the winner of the Sweden-Team Europe semifinal in the best-of-three World Cup finals, although the IHLC may not join them. If Sweden wins, they will compete for the IHLC, but if Europe advances, the IHLC’s run in Toronto will end here, as Europe does not represent a national team, and thus the game does not count towards the IHLC rankings. In this scenario, Canada would hold on to the title until November, where they will be participating at the Deutschland Cup.
05:06 – PEN – Bouwmeester, hooking
07:40 – GOAL – Crosby
09:10 – PEN – Burns, tripping
13:04 – PEN – Tarasenko, roughing
15:29 – PEN – Zaitsev, tripping
18:28 – PEN – Kuznetsov, high sticking
28:47 – GOAL – Kucherov (Zaitsev, Malkin)
36:24 – GOAL – Kuznetsov (Telegin, Dadonov)
37:36 – GOAL – Marchand (Crosby, Bergeron)
41:16 – GOAL – Marchand (Crosby, Bergeron)
41:37 – PEN – Getzlaf, slashing
45:48 – GOAL – Perry (Couture, Vlasic)
49:22 – GOAL – Tavares (Getzlaf, Vlasic)
59:51 – GOAL – Panarin (Kulyomin, Kucherov)
W: Price (31-34)
L: Bobrovski (42-47)
SHOTS ON GOAL
17+16+14 = 47
7+8+19 = 34
Goaltenders: Corey Crawford, Carey Price. Defence: Jay Bouwmeester, Brent Burns, Drew Doughty, Alex Pietrangelo, Marc-Édouard Vlasic, Shea Weber (A). Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Logan Couture, Sidney Crosby (C), Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Brad Marchand, Ryan O’Reilly, Corey Perry, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Toews (A).
Goaltenders: Sergei Bobrovski, Semyon Varlamov. Defence: Dmitri Kulikov, Alexei Marchenko, Andrei Markov (A), Nikita Nesterov, Dmitri Orlov, Alexei Yemelin, Nikita Zaitsev. Forwards: Artyom Anisimov, Yevgeni Dadonov, Nikita Kucherov, Nikolai Kulyomin, Yevgeni Kuznetsov, Yevgeni Malkin (A), Vladislav Namestnikov, Alexander Ovechkin (C), Artemi Panarin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Telegin.