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Russia Remains Unbeaten After Win over USA

Monday, 05.12.2014 / 3:13 PM CT / News Articles
By John Sanful
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Russia Remains Unbeaten After Win over USA
Team USA and Russian clashed tonight in the Preliminary Round of the IIHF World Championships at Minsk Arena with the Russians dominating the contest 6-1.

MINSK- If this was a statement game by the Russians of their intentions to compete for gold in this tournament, the message was received. In a dominating performance, Russia defeated USA 6-1.

The Americans lost by the widest margin against Russia at the World Championships since 1991 when they lost to URS 12-2.

Russia also made amends for their 8-3 loss to the Americans in Helsinki at last years World Championships.

Alexander Ovechkin’s first period penalty shot game winning goal powered Russia en route to their third win in as many games in the tournament.

USA skated out to a chorus of boos in what was decidedly a pro Russia crowd. If anything has been as signature here at Minsk Arena is the capacity crowd favoring the home team Belarus or Russia when they play.

Between the spectators and the Russian puck pursuit, the American found themselves on the defensive early on. Russia enjoyed many key chances that kept Tim Thomas and the defense working.

Sergei Kalinin had two good opportunities to score off passes from Danis Zaripov. On both occasions, Thomas made the stop.

Russia made it 1-0 when Nikolai Kulyomin scored off a rebound of a Yevgeni Medvedev shot. Just after Jacob Trouba’s tripping penalty had ended, Artyom Anisimov sent a backhand pass to Medvedev whose initial shot was stopped by Thomas but Kulyomin sent in the rebound.

USA head coach Peter Laviolette called a timeout at 13:54 to try and settle team his team down.

There were a few good chances by the Americans but the majority of the action came from the Russians who were first to many loose pucks, aggressive on their forecheck and generally playing at a high, up-tempo pace.

With time winding down in the first period, Russia would add to their lead. With 1:13 remaining, defenseman Danny DeKeyser was called for hooking Ovechkin down from behind when he was on a break. A penalty shot was called.

When the whistle sounded, Ovechkin went wide and closed in on Thomas, sending a backhand over the American netminder.

In the second period, Russia turned things up even more. With four goals in the period, they put the game away and chased Thomas from the net.

20 seconds in, Viktor Tikhonov took a lead pass from Ovechkin to make it 3-1.

Team USA would answer back shortly after when Justin AbdelKader tipped a Jeff Petry pass in the net past Andrei Vasilevski who was making his first World Championship tournament start. The goal came at 19:03.

At the halfway point of the middle period, Yuri Kuznetsov and Sergei Plotnikov scored exactly two minutes apart to make it a four goal lead. After Plotnikov’s goal, David Leggio relieved Thomas.

The lead was extended when Tim Stapleton fell down while attempting a pass near the Russian blueline. This gave the Russians a 3-on-0 heading into the American zone. Tikhonov, who opened the period with a goal, closed it with another.

Team USA outshot Russia 17-7 but were outscored 4-1.

With no scoring in the third, the score remained 6-1. The Russian juggernaut continues on while the Americans need to regroup and focus next on Switzerland.

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 76 47 22 7 222 213 101
2 NSH 75 46 21 8 214 180 100
3 STL 74 46 21 7 226 182 99
4 CHI 73 44 23 6 207 167 94
5 MIN 74 42 25 7 211 183 91
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 74 37 23 14 199 184 88
9 CGY 74 40 27 7 217 195 87
10 DAL 74 36 28 10 232 236 82
11 SJS 74 36 30 8 207 210 80
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 74 21 40 13 177 254 55
14 ARI 75 23 44 8 158 249 54

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Ladd 75 24 35 11 59
B. Wheeler 73 24 34 24 58
B. Little 65 24 27 10 51
M. Scheifele 75 14 32 10 46
D. Byfuglien 66 16 27 7 43
M. Frolik 75 17 23 4 40
D. Stafford 69 16 24 -14 40
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
J. Tlusty 65 14 15 -18 29
T. Myers 65 7 18 -9 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
O. Pavelec 19 14 7 .919 2.35
M. Hutchinson 20 10 5 .913 2.43
 
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