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Author: Alessandro Seren Rosso ( )Date: 01/17/2008
Russia tops Czech Republic and gets into the semi-finals

2008 U20 World Junior Championships

2008 WJC quarterfinals: Russia tops Czech Republic and gets into the semi-finals.

In the first game of the medal round Russia encounters hosts of Czech Republic and rolls over them with a great second period and a solid overall performance.

These are the tonightís lines for Team Russia:

Tikhonov Ė Sayustov Ė Golubtsov Ė Kalimulin Ė Kurbatov
Cherepanov Ė Mamin Ė Filatov Ė Aleksandrov Ė Voinov
Korolev Ė Bodrov Ė Gordeev Ė Seleznev Ė Doronin
Milekhin Ė Anisimov Ė Kugryshev Ė Chudinov Ė Dadonov

Quarterfinals: RUSSIA - CZECH REPUBLIC - 4:1 (0:0, 3:1, 1:0)

- 1:0 - 27:58 Seleznev Yakov (Mamin Maksim), pp;
- 2:0 - 35:04 Tikhonov Viktor (Golubtsov Vadim), pp;
- 3:0 - 36:57 Filatov Nikita (Anisimov Artem, Seleznev Yakov);
- 3:1 - 37:20 Meydl Radek (Vorachek Yakub);
- 4:1 - 50:10 Korolev Anton (Bodrov Evgeniy).
GOALIES: Bobrovskiy Sergey - Noyvirt Mikhal.
Russia: 1 Bobrovskiy Sergey, 30 Galimov Stanislav; 3 Doronin Pavel, 6 Kalimulin Marat, 7 Cherepanov Alexei, 8 Kurbatov Evgeniy, 9 Gordeev Artem, 10 Bodrov Evgeniy, 11 Tikhonov Viktor, 12 Anisimov Artem, 13 Korolev Anton, 15 Mamin Maksim, 16 Golubtsov Vadim, 17 Sayustov Dmitriy, 18 Kugrůshev Dmitriy, 20 Seleznev Yakov, 21 Filatov Nikita, 23 Aleksandrov Yuriy, 24 Voynov Vyacheslav, 27 Dadonov Evgeniy, 28 Chudinov Maksim, 29 Milekhin Mikhail.
Czech Republic: 29 Noyvirt Mikhal, 30 Kovarzh Yakub; 15 Borzhuta Antonin, 9 Yordan Mikhal, 20 Vorachek Yakub, 14 Frolik MikhaŚl, 11 Bartek DaniŚl, 5 Piskachek Yan, 6 Parizek Martin, 12 Latal Martin, 27 Strapach Petr, 21 Gampl Zbinek, 4 Prokop Patrik, 23 Kundratek Tomash, 16 Sklenarzh Yakub, 13 Kubena Pavel, 24 Ondrachek Irzhi, 18 Meydl Radek, 25 Semorad Yan, 28 Shturts Roman.


After the initial shakeout stage, the first chance of the match comes to Kugryshev at the second minute of play after a nice pass by Milekhin. After that a foul by Seleznev puts the home team on numerical superiority, but Czech PP isnít simply good enough to outplay the Russian PK unit which plays very well, especially with Yuri Alexandrov and Kurbatov. Russia gets back on the offensive with the first line and Viktor Tikhonov draws a penalty. The puck goes quickly from stick to stick, but no danger for the Czech goalie. The game is good paced but without true scoring chances. The refs also influenced the game a bit with their seemingly home bias calls, especially on the hooking called to Nikitia Filatov on the eleventh minute. Bobrovskiy saves well against Voracek twice and then itís penalty time again, Maxim Mamin out for slashing. In the 5-on-3 stretch Voracek Ė Bobrovskiy challenge continues with the same result as before.

When the teams get at full strength finally Alexei Cherepanov creates a great scoring chance with a nice pass to Mamin, but Neuvirth stays steady and stops the puck. Russia insists with Vyacheslav Voinov and again Neuvirty does his job well rejecting the attempt. Cherepanov steals the scene once again a bit later when he gets out of the boardplay and tries top center the puck, but unfortunately no one picks it up to be dangerous. The refs whistle a penalty though, and Paryzek is sent to the penalty box. The Russian powerplay has too little time though, because after a little stretch itís four on four. Nemchinovís team gets near to the advantage with a couple of chances for Evgeny Bodrov and Alexandrov, but then again itís a penalty. This time the penalized player is Korolev for holding the stick of an opponent, but there is no time for Czechs to organize since the horn sounds to announce the end of the first period.

The first twenty minutes have been interesting but not eventful. Russia had to kill a lot of penalties and thus they hadnít time to build many scoring chances.

The second period starts with the Czechs still on a powerplay, but they once again donít manage to be dangerous. At the fifth minute Alexandrov doesnít control the puck well in his own zone and creates a chance for the Czechs who continue to miss on their scoring chances. On the other front Milekhin sees the movement of Chudinov and serves him, the young defender one times it nicely, but the shot is just wide of the net. The action continues and Kundratek shoots it over the glass, getting a two minute penalty for delay of game. As usual the first line has a very good shift and gets a good chance when Golubtsov shot attempt is rejected by the goalie. Tikhonov is then tripped in front of the net, but the Russians get upset as no penalty was not called. Russia insists and after all this attack goes ahead: nice puck work by Mamin along the boards who serves Filatov. The exciting winger from the left sees Seleznev rather unchallenged on the opposite flank. Seleznev controls the puck and with a smart wristshot puts it in the back of the net, effectively using Cherepanovís active screen on the goaltender. The shot wasnít unstoppable, but Neuvirth didnít see its launch, because the New York Rangers prospect was so active in front of the crease with a smart play. Russia keeps pushing and midway through the second fraction with a nice, quick counterattack Golubtsov passes to Sayustov, who brings the puck in the offensive third. In the consequent two on one stretch the Torpedo player serves Viktor Tikhonov who is alone against the goalie, but misses the KO shot. Czechs try to react and get a powerplay with an interference call on Mamin, but the numerical superiority could have been used better. At the fourteenth Alexei Cherepanov (New York Rangers) draws another penalty as Jordan (attention readers, as he is Czech, his name should be read like Yordan, not Jordan like the basketball player) roughs him up. The first line is on the ice hunting for the goal and after a few attempts they manage to double the score: Golubtsov shoots from close range, Neuvirth rejectes starting thus a classical powerplay scramble. The puck ends its run in the net, and itís Tikhonovís blade the last to touch the puck for the 2-0 mark. Russia keeps attacking and two minutes later itís 3-0 when on the left side Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers) invents a creative pass on the weak side for the rushing Filatov who canít miss a great pass like that and scores on the one timer. Really a great play by Anisimov, who turned on his back before to make such a pass, demonstrating very good skating, creativity and also a great vision of the play to notice the arrive of his team mate on the right. Once again, what a play!

Just one minute away Czech republic reopens the game as Meidl nets a nice goal after a nice pass by Voracek, really a good player. Meidl dribbles past Korolev in style and hits the net top shelf. Nice goal indeed. But the period isnít over. Sayustov wants his share of glory too and tries a surprise shot from the right side. Neuvirth is beaten, but the puck rattles first on the right post, then on the left one. Refs call for the instant replay but the goal isnít allowed.

Overall, a very very good second period for Russia, who played a strong game with also many good moments like Anisimovís Magic Johnson-like assist and other nice combinations from the first line.

The third period starts thus with the game still not close. Golubtsov tries to go smart by searching the five hole from impossible position, but Neuvirth doesnít take the trick and stops. One minute later Russia is again dangerous with a nice combination: Gordeev feeds Korolev, who from behind the crease sees Bodrov arriving. The center one times the pass and just as Sayustovís attempt it rattles twice against the posts to get out of the crease. Incredible. Russia insists with the first line, but Tikhonov canít finalize good pass by Sayustov. At the fifth minute Czechs can get off the shadows with a powerplay because of Anisimovís rough intervention, but once again their play with the man advantage is poor and lead to nothing. A frustration foul by Frolik puts Russia in numerical superiority (or in Russian, bolshenstvo) and the chance is all for Cherepanov who, after the umpteenth good puck played by Filatov, all alone against the goalie who makes a tremendous save to keep the game alive. The play continues for a couple of minutes only and Neuvirth and team Czech capitulates for the fourth time. After another nice combination between Gordeev and Bodrov Korolev gets the puck right of the net and with a one timer gets past of the goaltender. Sayustov one minute later with a great rush excites the crowd getting past all the defenders, but unfortunately Neuvirth denies to him the possibility of a highlight reel goal. Czech frontman Frolik canít contain his frustration and gets penalized again for an ugly kneeing on Kurbatov and Russian has the last chance to score with a great pass by Cherepanov to Kalimulin, whose shot is stopped again by Neuvirth. The curtain falls then over the game, where Russia has demonstrated to have medal quality of a team even if there are some holes in the game and also a bit of questioning regarding the physical game. This match was truly well played, though, and has displayed how talented is this team. A good challenge awaits Russia in the semifinals, scheduled to be against a red hot team Sweden who beat in the first round the gold medal owners, team Canada.

Interview with Sergei Bobrovskiy

Sergei, tell us a general comment about the game.
Sergei Bobrovsky: At the start of the game we had to kill many penalties. In the second period it was better and we started to play like a team, so yes, our second period was very good.

Now you have to face Team Sweden in the semifinals, what do you know about them?
Sergei Bobrovsky: They are a good team, who plays with good tactics. The players are very smart and also disciplined. Their defense is very strong and we have to play well our counterattacks.

Interview with Nikita Filatov

Nikita, tell us a general comment about the game.
Nikita Filatov: This game against Czech Republic was very hard for us. In the first period we had to play a lot of time four against five and so the beginning was difficult. Also we were a little bit nervous, but then we started to play calm taking our time, and thus performing like we can.

Now you have to face Team Sweden in the semifinals.
Nikita Filatov: Yes, now we have to play against the Swedes. I really donít know what to say. We were ready to win today and it will be the same against Sweden.

What do you know about them?
Nikita Filatov: Nothing. I just know that they won against Canada and we know that Canada has really a strong team.

What are the strengths of this yearís Team Russia in your opinion?
Nikita Filatov: I think we have a good pass play and also good speed. In this team there is also a lot of flair.

Which players do you know on Team Sweden?
Nikita Filatov: I know the defenseman Victor Hedman. He plays a lot so I think heís not bad. I also know the player of the first line (Patrik) Berglund, but I donít know how they play, I only know that they are good players.

Special thanks to Henrik Lundqvist of for the interviews

Alessandroís player of the game: Nikita Filatov
The underage player from CSKA Moscow has played a very good game recording one goal and one assist (for Seleznevís goal, the first of the game). Other than that he was present in many dangerous rushes both passing and bringing the puck ahead, an aspect of the game in which he is really excellent because of his great technique.

Other notesÖ

Dmitriy Kugryshev (2008 eligible), Right Wing
Grade: C+
Despite not having much time to shine, Kugryshev has played however a good game, yet not spectacular. In the medal round now his role in the team is limited to a few shifts.

Nikita Filatov (2008 eligible), Left Wing
Grade: B+
My pick for the player of the game was good throughout the whole match. His acceleration always put in trouble the opponent defense, plus he clicks well with Cherepanov, adding lots of quality to Russian lineup. Interesting to see how he plays against the Swedes.

Alexei Cherepanov (New York Rangers) †, Right Winger
Grade: B
Despite being left off the scoring sheet, Cherepanov has played a solid game. He screened the goalie in Russiaís first goal, and he also drown the penalty that led to the game winning goal. It would be an ďAĒ grade performance if he had net the breakaway in the third period after the great ouverture by Filatov.

Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers) †, Center
Grade: B-
He would have got a good mark even if he only had the assist for the 3-1 goal, a pass that was worth the price of the ticket. Hasnít played much in the first period, looked way better when Nemchinov placed him to center Filatov and Cherepanov in the second line. Once again he played a very solid match with many good, inspiring passes.

Yuri Alexandrov (Boston Bruins) †, Defender
Grade: B
In the first game of the medal round Yuri Alexandrov (Boston Bruins) has played his best game of the tournament, just like most of Russian players. He even tried to go ahead hunting for some glory in the score sheet at the end of the first period, but his attempt was stopped by Neuvirth. Heís growing with the time, but has to limit his moments of distraction.

Vyacheslav Voinov (2008 Eligible), Defender
Grade: B-
Despite making a little error at the twenty-fourth minute, Voinov has played well once again. Good with the puck, maybe hasnít a strong shot but he knows what to do in both ends of the rink.

Maxim Chudinov (2008 Eligible), Defender
Grade: C+
Like Kugryshev in the medal round he has a limited role in the team. Good understanding of the game and technique are his strong part of the game.

Related Player Profiles: . Y.Alexandrov A.Anisimov E.Bodrov A.Cherepanov M.Chudinov N.Filatov M.Mamin V.Tikhonov V.Voinov
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