|2008 U20 World Junior Championships
2008 WJC: Russia edges Finland 7-4 in WJC opener
With a great second period Russia downs Finland without too many troubles, putting seven different scorers on the game sheet.
With Cherepanov out with a flu, these are the tonight’s lines for Team Russia:
Tikhonov – Sayustov – Golubtsov – Kalimulin – Kurbatov
Filatov – Anisimov – Dadonov – Seleznev – Doronin
Kugryshev – Bodrov – Gordeev – Alexandrov – Voinov
Milekhin – Mamin – Korolev – Chudinov
The first period starts with an early penalty whistled against Yuri Alexandrov (Boston Bruins) for a high sticking, but Finland can’t get anything done on the power play. At the end of the Finnish power play stretch a roughing penalty by Warn puts Russia on a power play, but the first unit can’t get past the pressure put on the Finnish defenders. After a couple of minutes Evgeni Dadonov puts team Russia down by a man and Finland gets ahead with a nice one timer by captain Aaltonen, forgotten by Pavel Doronin. Nemchinov’s squad tried to react: Nikita Filatov feeds Dadonov who can’t control the puck in the slot. As usual in Russia – Finland game, Russians have more technique but suffers a bit because of the Finn physical play. To display Russian technical superiority, just have a look at the eleventh minute rush: Vadim Golubtsov skates with the puck for the whole third, then he exchanges the puck with Sayustov. It ends to Kurbatov who shots from the blue line but the goalkeeper makes a nice save. Good effort by Russia though, which gets the tie not much later: Vadim Golubtsov from the right side of the rink feeds Viktor Tikhonov at the center. The Severstal player sees Sayustov right of the crease and sends the puck to him, who touches the puck in direction of the goalkeeper. It rattles in Marat Kalimulin’s stick and goes in for the 1-1 tie.
At the thirteenth minute Evgeny Bodrov steals the scene with a spectacular between-the-legs move to get past Porulinna, but unfortunately Sateri rejects the shot. One minute later Kugryshev gets the penalty box for hooking and Finland scores again: Pavel Doronin fails to contain Aaltonen on the right. The puck ends towards Jalvanti who scores with an accurate wrist shot top shelf. For the second time Finland scores spoiling the hole left by Evgeni Doronin and Yakov Seleznev. Finland keeps attacking and gets close to another goal again with a close range shot by Aaltonen, well saved by Sergei Bobrovskiy, and when Evgeny Bodrov gets out for an elbowing the Finns have another chance on a powerplay. Sallinen shots, Sergei Bobrovskiy saves. Finland insists with Lehtivuori from the blue line, the goalkeeper saves again, Lajunen gets the rebound but Bobrovskiy denies it and the defense then clears the puck. This was a tough first period for team Russia.
A few seconds into the second fraction Evgeny Bodrov is in the penalty box again because of a slashing penalty, but Finn powerplay lasts not much, holding by Lehtivuori. Four on four and the game opens up. Vyacheslav Voinov finds Nikita Filatov near the goalie who makes a good job in stopping the puck on Filatov’s shot. Finland attacks again and comes close to the third goal with Malinen, then is again on a powerplay, with Seleznev out by interference. Despite being one man down, Russians manage to get dangerous with a quick counterattack by Bodrov, nicely saved by 2008 eligible Sateri. The Finns shot a lot the puck but without being clearly dangerous. The teams get back at full strength and this time Russia is rescued by a tremendous diving glove-save by Bobrovskiy on Warn after a nice feed by Lucenius from behind the crease. Finland insists but it’s Russia who scores: Bodrov gets away with the puck, fakes a shoot and feeds Artem Gordeev at his left. The shot by Ufa’s player is rejected, but Bodrov picks up the rebound up and scores the tie. Great game so far for him. Thirty seconds later Anton Korolev rolls on the left flank, resists on a foul and feeds Maxim Mamin, whose shot unfortunately goes wide. Russia gets on a powerplay. Viktor Tikhonov tries from the distance, but the shot comes right in Sateri’s glove. Then Marat Kalimulin from the blue line serves Vadim Golubtsov ahead of him, accurate wrister in left top corner and Russia is up 3-2. Russia insists and at the eleventh Yuri Alexandrov (Boston Bruins) finds Anton Korolev, but a good save by Sateri. This action is the prelude for Russia’s fourth goal, scored with a classy team action: back in the defense Marat Kalimulin passes to Yuri Alexandrov (Boston Bruins). The puck arrives to Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers) who feeds Niktia Filatov on the right. Young CSKA player skates then towards the crease, wraps around it and serves back Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers), perfectly placed on top of the blue area, where he can’t really fail to score on the one timer. Another very good team action by Team Russia. This second period is completely one sided. Later on, Vyacheslav Voinov with a great break out pass searches and find Korolev on the opponent blue line. Korolev catapults himself towards Sateri just to score a nice breakaway goal, with a shot that comes in thru goalie’s legs. Really a great pass by Voinov in this occasion.
Finland returns to the offensive zone again at 18’30”, when a shot by Jalvanti is nicely gloved by Bobrovskiy. One minute later Salminen gets called for interference and thus Russia will start the third period with the man advantage.
Twenty-five seconds in the third fraction and Russia scores again: Kalimulin, him again, serves Tikhonov in the slot. After entering in the third, with a fake gets rid of Kousa and scores with a laser in the top right corner. Once again Russia scores a very nice goal.
Finland tries to spoil a double man advantage because of the fouls by Maxim Mamin and Yakov Seleznev by placing two players behind the crease, but they can’t be too much of a danger a part a close range shot from Juutilainen nicely saved by Bobrovskiy. The teams get back at full strength and Finland manages to cut down Russia’s lead with an accurate wristshot by Puustinen. A few seconds later they score again with a quick counter attack by Warn. Nemchinov calls a time out to shake things up and it actually makes an impact because his guys manage to contain well the opposition’s fury, wasting a bit of time with needed and playing solid in defense, coming out with the seventh goal of the game four minutes to the horn as Bodrov playmakes well behind the crease serving Kugryshev in the slot who, like Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers) in the second period, can’t fail the one timer. Before the end of the game Russia has another chance with Filatov, but his shot went gloved easily by Sateri.
Deserved victory for Russia, who managed to use well their technical superiority to have reason over a good opponent. Scoring seven goals with seven different goalscorers is also an impressive achievement.
Alessandro’s player of the game: Evgeniy Bodrov
He simply played an incredible game. One goal, one assist, +2, tons of face offs won and a constant threat on the ice. Any of his acceleration was a show. He really played great, stealing the scene to players more quoted than him.
Dmitriy Kugryshev (2008 eligible), Right Wing
Youngster CSKA player in the first period looked absolutely out of play, but he became better as the game went on. He ended up with a deserved goal for what he done in the match. Impressive along the boards, has showcased some of his skills in this game.
Nikita Filatov (2008 eligible), Left Wing
More talented than his team mate Kugryshev, Filatov has played also a good game. He showcased a good skating as well as a good technique. He has an excellent stickhandling and can touch very well, and softly, the puck. He was left out the ice when his line was killing a penalty.
Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers) (New York Rangers), Center
Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers) is another player who, like Bodrov, has played a superb game. A true playmaker, has improved a lot since his AHL campaign, playing more intense and finishing all his checx. Played all the game well with and without the puck, it isn’t a surprise though to see him playing that well. Can be a factor in the medal round.
Evgeni Dadonov (Florida Panthers) (Florida Panthers), Right Wing
Up and down. Gets the penalty that costs the second goal to his team. Tries to react at twelfth but he loses the puck instead of shooting. A bit better later on when he tries to make things happen with his speed. Good movement in front of the goaltender for Russia’s fourth goal to take away two defenders from Anisimov, but it’s simply not enough for a player of his calibre.
Yuri Alexandrov (Boston Bruins) (Boston Bruins), Defender
Good, but not exceptional, game. Gets penalized as soon as the game starts because of an avoidable high sticking along the boards. He plays concentrated back and remains solid yet not spectacular. Overally an okay game. Has showed some passing.
Vyacheslav Voinov (2008 Eligible), Defender
Didn’t get too much time, but he looked reliable in defense and creative on attack. To be clapped his marvellous assist for Korolev’s breakaway goal. He played a lot the puck with good results, and has played an interesting game. He looked mature.
Maxim Chudinov (2008 Eligible), Defender
He didn’t get enough ice time to showcase his talent, but has played nicely a couple of pucx that came in his direction. Looked solid also in defense but to be rated he needs to play more.