International Ice Hockey Federation

Russia moves to semi-finals

Russia moves to semi-finals

Malkin nets two big goals

Published 14.05.2015 23:27 GMT+2 | Author John Sanful
Russia moves to semi-finals
OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 14: Russia's Sergei Plotnikov #16 controls the puck with pressure from Sweden's Victor Rask #49 in front of Jhonas Enroth #1 during quarterfinal round action at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)
In a rematch of last year’s semi-final, Russia and Sweden clashed today in the second quarter-final game of the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

Yevgeni Malkin’s quick strike in the third period was the difference as Russia defeats Sweden 5-3 and moves into the semi-final against Team USA. Sweden chipped away to tie the game late but Russia responded to retake the lead and earn the win.

This sets up another USA-Russia battle in the 2015 tournament, this time with Alexander Ovechkin on the way. The Washington Capitals forward has been confirmed as coming to Prague in time for the semi-finals.

"We should be excited about the US," Viktor Tikhonov said. "It's what we wanted because every time you lose to someone you always want to prove that you can come back and beat them. We got our chance and we've got to go out there and win."

Today’s game marked Sweden’s first game away from Prague at the World Championship this year and the first time in over 11 years since their last tournament match in CEZ Arena.

Sweden’s last World Championship game in Ostrava was on 3 May 2004, a 0-0 tie against Slovakia in the Qualifying Round. That was their last game of the round before entering the playoffs and eventually winning silver that year.

But Sweden was also coming into this game having not beaten Russia at World Championships since 2004. Things certainly did not look good as Russia exploded to a 2-0 lead in the first period. They resumed their first period success here in the quarter-final. Over the first two games of the tournament Russia had seven goals in the first period.

Penalties led to Russia’s first goal. A too many men on the ice penalty at 9:18 and then a tripping call on Elias Lindholm gave the Russian power play a two-man advantage to work with.

Continue reading

Sergei Mozyakin scored his fifth of the tournament off a cross-ice pass from Malkin at 10:51. The goal came just as first penalty was expiring.

Just under six minutes later, Sergei Shirokov scored to up the lead to two. Tikhonov fought off a check, sending a one hand pass to Vladimir Tarasenko whose shot was saved. Tikhonov picked up the rebound and got off another two shots that were saved but Shirokin was left alone in front to poke it in for the goal. The play was reviewed and the goal confirmed.

Tarasenko almost had another chance but good backchecking from Jacob Josefson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson was able to neutralize the effort. Tarasenko picked up assists on both goals in the first.

48 seconds into the second period, Malkin scored to put Sweden in trouble. It started with a clever pass off the side board from Nikolai Kulyomin in the neutral zone to Malkin, who was off to the races. Malkin featured a quick release on the short side.

With that goal, Sweden needed to pick up the offensive attack. Jhonas Enroth was chased from the game and replaced by Anders Nilsson.

Sweden finally got on the board when John Klingberg scored. The play started with a faceoff win by Anton Lander. Kleinberg took possession of the pick and sent a shot on goal with Dmitri Kulikov screening his netminder in front. Bobrovski didn’t see the shot coming his way.

Just as penalty wound down, Lander scored to pull Sweden within one. Lander showed patience with the puck after receiving a pass from Ekman-Larsson.

Suddenly, it was a different game than the one in the first period. Sweden was within reach of striking back, but could they.

More action took place in front of Bobrovksi. In one instance, some of the Swedish players had their hands in the air to celebrate what they thought was a goal, but that was premature. The puck was shot by Victor Rask and off Bobrovski then hit the post and across the blue paint in the crease.

"We felt pretty confident about ourselves but they got that one goal on the power play and after that we kinda hit the brakes," Tikhonov said. "We stopped playing aggressive. Most of our success was that we kept the puck in their zone. As soon as it came to our zone our game started falling apart. That's something to work on for the next game."

Then it was a new game, albeit for less than a minute.

Sweden came all the way back when Lander’s shot was deflected in front by Loui Eriksson to knot the game at three all.

Russia turned it back the other way by answering with a goal. Malkin threw a shot from the side of the net that banked off the skate of Ekman-Larsson twenty six seconds after Eriksson tied the game.

"It was a tough goal to take," said a dejected Nilsson. "The guy who gets the goal there he came and he was going to put it on the far post and it just deflected off the skate and went in."

When Sweden pulled their goaltender, Tarasenko added an empty net goal while he was being tripped on his way to the net.

After scoring a lone goal in Russia’s first seven games, Malkin came alive today with two big tallies and four points.

Tonight's game was the final of the tournament in Ostrava. All action now advances to Prague.


Back to Overview