Russia roared to another convincing victory against one of the outsiders at this championship, following up its 7-0 win over France with a similar scoreline against Austria.
Mikhail Grigorenko led the way with two goals, Kirill Kaprizov and Artyom Anisimov both contributed 1+1 and there were further markers from Alexander Barabanov, Maxim Mamin and Ilya Mikheyev as the Russians produced another impressive attacking display.
Austria had never beaten Russia in World Championship play, and the seven games between the two since the break-up of the USSR produced a 41-13 goal differential in favour of the Russians. There was little expectation of the Alpine nation improving on that record here, particularly in the absence of goalie Bernhard Starkbaum, so impressive against Switzerland 24 hours earlier. Although that battling overtime loss against Switzerland yesterday gave Austria hope of surviving in this division, Russia’s comprehensive 7-0 thrashing of France set a daunting standard for the newly-promoted team to reach.
However, there were encouraging moments for Roger Bader’s team in the early stages of the game. Prior to the opening goal, the action was fairly even. Russia’s offence displayed greater variety and sophistication but Austria still managed to raise a scare when Markus Schlacher’s shot was blocked by Vasili Koshechkin and Fabio Hofer was sniffing around the rebound before the Russian D intervened.
“They caused us problems at the start,” Anisimov said after the game. “At the beginning they played some nice stuff and we couldn’t get out of our zone. Then we got a couple of quick goals and we changed the pattern of the game. After that we could play more on offence.”
That was the last real chance for the outsider, though. A breakdown on the Austrian offence saw Grigorenko steal the puck in his own zone and burst through centre ice. Defenceman Stefan Ulmer tracked the rush but ended up serving as an unwitting screen as the CSKA forward fired the puck below David Madlener’s glove to open the scoring in the 10th minute.
Against the French, Russia opened the scoring midway through the opening frame and quickly jumped into a 3-0 lead. Here, recent history repeated itself. Anisimov, one of just two players to skate for Russia when the countries last met in 2013, soon added a second when he gobbled up the rebound after Pavel Buchnevich got up close with Madlener. Now the Russians could relax into their natural game: a fine passage of tic-tac-toe drew an appreciative reaction from the FHR’s vice-president Roman Rotenberg as the bemused Austrians looked on.
That chance went begging as Kaprizov shot wide, but it wasn’t long before the executives were celebrating number three as Barabanov delivered an emphatic finish off Mikheyev’s feed. His assist was the first World Championship point for the Avangard Omsk forward and his first goal would arrive before the end of the game.
The middle frame continued in similar vein, with Russia’s scalpel-sharp offence finding more ways to open up a hard-pressed Austrian defence. Grigorenko got his second of the game early in the session, deceiving Madlener after Anisimov’s movement pulled Austria’s back line out of position.
Next came the goal of the game as Pavel Datsyuk produced another one of those little bits of magic. Even at 39, Russia’s captain still has all the moves and he showed them off here to dance past two defencemen before presenting Kaprizov with a gift-wrapped opportunity to fire the puck into an empty net. The young forward’s appreciative grin was laced with disbelief at yet another memorable moment from the Magic Man.
There was another special moment to come late in the frame when Mamin got his first World Championship goal. The Florida Panthers prospect was released into the end zone by Kaprizov’s long pass and he proved too strong for Clemens Unterweger before finishing the play.
For Austria’s Brian Lebler, it was all something of an educational experience.
“They’re a good team. For us, it’s exciting to play against guys of that calibre and see what it takes to be the best in the world,” he said. “It’s a good learning experience. Obviously we’d like to keep it a little bit closer. But at the end of the day, it was fun out there and I think we learned a little bit too.”
Russia replaced goalie Koshechkin at the second intermission – the Metallurg Magnitogorsk netminder has now gone 100 minutes without allowing a goal here in Copenhagen – and gave SKA’s Igor Shestyorkin a taste of action. Shestyorkin, Russia’s unused third choice goalie at the Olympics in February, saw his first World Championship action after making the roster in the previous two tournaments.
Shestyorkin successfully kept the Austrians at bay in his 20-minute cameo, ensuring Russia has yet to concede in two games here. He was also on the ice to see Mikheyev bag his first goal at this level in the 54th minute. The Avangard man pounced on a loose puck in centre ice and streaked past the unfortunate Unterwegger before flipping the puck past Madlener.
“It was a memorable moment for me,” he said. “We got the puck and I was able to get in front of my opponent. There’s a different feeling, playing at my first World Championship, but I facecd tougher opponents during the Eurotour.
“We have our tasks here and we need to carry them out. Against France we were poor in the second period, today there were no long passages where we played badly.”
09:34 – GOAL – Grigorenko
11:42 – GOAL – Anisimov (Buchnevich)
13:19 – GOAL – Barabanov (Mikheyev, Yakovlev)
23:52 – GOAL – Grigorenko (Anisimov)
29:07 – GOAL – Kaprizov (Datsyuk, Dadonov)
30:21 – PEN – Nesterov, slashing
37:58 – GOAL – Mamin (Kaprizov)
46:08 – PEN – Lebler, high sticking
53:55 – GOAL – Mikheyev
W: Koshechkin (14-14), Shestyorkin (4-4)
L: Madlener (34-41)
SHOTS ON GOAL
17+10+14 = 41
7+7+4 = 18
Goaltenders: Vasili Koshechkin, Igor Shestyorkin. Defence: Vladislav Gavrikov, Dinar Khafizullin, Bogdan Kiselevich, Nikita Nesterov, Niktia Tryamkin, Yegor Yakovlev, Nikita Zaitsev. Forwards: Sergei Andronov (A), Artyom Anisimov, Alexander Barabanov, Pavel Buchnevich, Yevgeni Dadonov (A), Pavel Datsyuk (C), Mikhail Grigorenko, Ilya Kablukov, Kirill Kaprizov, Maxim Mamin, Ilya Mikheyev, Maxim Shalunov.
Goaltenders: David Kickert, David Madlener. Defence: Mario Altmann, Dominique Heinrich, Patrick Peter, Markus Schlacher, Martin Schumnig, Stefan Ulmer, Clemens Unterweger, Layne Viveiros. Forwards: Manuel Ganahl (A), Fabio Hofer, Thomas Hundertpfund (C), Konstantin Komarek, Brian Lebler (A), Patrick Obrist, Alexander Rauchenwald, Peter Schneider, Patrick Spannring, Daniel Woger, Dominic Zwerger.
|First IHLC Meeting (RUS vs. AUT)
URS 22-1 AUT – 02/27/1957 – WC – Moscow
|Previous IHLC Meeting (RUS vs. AUT)
RUS 4-2 AUT – 04/19/1993 – WC – Munich
|Last IHLC Game
RUS 7-0 FRA – 05/04/2018 – WC – Copenhagen
|Next IHLC Game
RUS 6-0 BLR – 05/07/2018 – WC – Copenhagen