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Author: Alessandro Seren Rosso ( )Date: 01/19/2008
2008 WJC semifinals: Russia surrenders to Sweden

2008 U20 World Junior Championships

2008 WJC semifinals: Russia surrenders to Sweden

After a very good match against Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, Team Russia loses to Sweden the chance to play for the gold, despite a good performance by Cherepanov and Filatov.

These are tonight’s lines for Team Russia:

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

SWEDEN - RUSSIA - 2:1 OT (0:0, 0:1, 1:0, 1:0)

- 0:1 - 38:27 Filatov Nikita (Cherepanov Alexei);
- 1:1 - 51:50 Figren Robin (Andersson Yoakim, Moå Årik), pp;
- 2:1 - 66:18 Båklund Mikaål (Svensson Paarvi Magnus).
GOALIES: Ånrut Yunas - Bobrovskiy Sergey.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Bårglund Patrik - Bobrovskiy Sergey.
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 Kugróshev Dmitriy, 20 Seleznev Yakov, 21 Filatov Nikita, 23 Aleksandrov Yuriy, 24 Voynov Vyacheslav, 27 Dadonov Evgeniy, 28 Chudinov Maksim, 29 Milekhin Mikhail.

And at the end, not even this year is good for the gold medal as Russia is beaten to Sweden in the overtime period of the semifinals.

After the shakeout in the first few minutes of the game, in which Russia has showed an interesting high level of forechecking with the first and third lines, it’s Sweden who gets the first scoring chance, with the opposition defenders out of position in the neutral zone. The puck goes to Oscar Moller on the right flank who searches for the five hole, but Bobrovskiy stops the attempt. Golubtsov is called for slashing and our opponents are on a powerplay, but nothing happens. Russia replies with the second line: after a good series of passes Seleznev finds the path thru the traffic to serve Filatov, whose backhander is stopped by Enroth. Sweden keeps doing a great job of containing Russia’s skilled forwards, because of their strong defenders corp. Also because of this, the game doesn’t take off.

At the eleventh minute Sweden can go again on a powerplay, because of a foul play by Yakov Seleznev, and hunts for the go-ahead goal. Center Berglund tries from the distance, Sergei Bobrovsky says no. Swden’s first line keeps putting up good pressure, but Moller can’t finalize the play. The teams get at even strength, but Tri Kronor keeps attacking with Kempe, and Russia has to thank his weak aim since his shot from dangerous position is wide of the net. Definitely it’s more Sweden than Russia, but in the end of the first finally also Nemchinov’s team has its chance as Cherepanov serves Kurbatov on the blue line. The slap shot is rejected by Enroth, during a delayed penalty call. On the consequent powerplay Sweden returns to be dangerous: at the nineteenth minute of play, Kalimulin sees one his weak passes intercepted by Berglund, always a threat on the ice, who gets quickly in the offensive third, and only a monumental intervene by Kurbatov to deflect his shot rescues Russia from the goal.

Not a good first period played by the Sbornaya, as the guys left too many chances to the opponents. The forwards fatigued a lot to build actions against such a strong defense.

The second period starts with Russia still with a man advantage, played well by Tikhonov but without any result. The teams get back at full strength, Hedman finds himself in the offensive third and skates towards the net, but can’t get the puck past Bobrovskiy, solid match for him so far. Sweden’s defense leaves little spaces to Russia, but when the forwards get one, they are always dangerous: during a delayed call, at the twenty-third, Sayustov gets in front of the goalie who gloves the puck nicely. Just like Bobrovskiy, Swede Enroth is playing very well. The young Swede goalkeeper repeats himself a few seconds later on a good slap shot by Alexei Cherepanov, after a chance missed by Maxim Mamin again after a pass by Alexei. The good moment for Russia expires as Yuri Alexandrov (Boston Bruins) overplays the puck thus freeing Figren to skate towards Bobrovskiy who manages to rescue his team. The game is a bit frozen by Sweden’s defense, and the Swedes again use an error by another Russian rearguard at the twenty-ninth minute, when Kurbatov serves Berglund unintentionally, good job by Bobrovskiy. Sweden insists with Figren, Bobrovskiy saves again going down to the ice.

Midway through the match Russia gets a good shift with the third line: Bodrov stickhandles and shoots, Enroth saves. Russia keeps rolling on and Aleksandrov tries the fortune from the blue line, Enroth saves again, then the defense refugees in an icing call. The moment is good for Russians as they got two other chances with long distance shots by Seleznev and Golubtsov, both stopped by the solid Swede goalie. During a later delayed call Cherepanov tries again the slapper, easy save for Enroth. The powerplay opportunity isn’t spoiled by the Russians, but with the teams back at full strength Seleznev tries the blue line shot, Anisimov gets the deflection towards the crease and he hits the post!

Swedes try to kill the momentum with Berglund, but his weak shot causes no problems to Bobrovskiy. The moment remains for Russian side, who gets back in the offensive third with the third line and scores! At the thirty-eighth, in the neutral Cherepanov searches for Filatov who smells the opportunity and skates towards the crease. CSKA’s youngster arrives in front of Enroth and tricks him out with a five hole smart move. Great goal by Russia, thanks to his top talents. A bit later Korolev gets a penalty and Sweden can start the third period with the man advantage.
Excellent second half of the second fraction for Russia, but of course it ain’t done yet.

The last regulation period starts, as said, with Sweden on a powerplay, killed by Russians. Cherepanov keeps playing on a high standard, but slowly the initiative goes to the Swede side. After five minutes of play Alcen gets on a breakaway, ugly shot, it’s wide. Sweden grows and hunts the tie, Russia tries to kill their chances with good fortunes up to the tenth minute, when Cherepanov (Aleksei…you ruined your excellent game with this penalty) hooks an opponent and gets in the sin bin. The PK starts bad for Russia as after a few seconds a shot by Moller hits the outer part of the goalpost. Berglund gets his chance not much later, Bobrovskiy saves but he has to capitulate when Andersson quickly rushes on the left side, serves Figren who gets rid of Doronin with a fake. Bobrovskiy comes out to challenge him, but the Swede manages to play it wide and scoring on the empty net. Deserved tie for Sweden as they got many chances, but should be also mentioned that Russian defense was in bad position, especially with Doronin. Not much later Backlund tries it from the distance, Bobrovskiy denies the advantage and in the other front Tikhonov sparks off and gets by a defender with an highlight reel move, but Enroth saves as the forward wasn’t in the best position to shot, too wide and with little space. In the last minute of the third Russians attack, but once again Victor Hedman, what a player, made the difference stopping all rushes of the opponents. Seven seconds to the horn Swedes could have a chance with a close range shot by Backlund, but Sayustov hooks him to a penalty, dramatically tuning down his dangerousness, allowing Bobrovskiy to make an easy save to keep the score tied. The game will be thus decided in the sudden death period.

The overtime starts with Sweden on a powerplay because of the hook by Sayustov in the dying seconds of the regulation. The team led by coach Marts tries to decide the game, but Bobrovskiy keeps his nerves and stops all the shots. At the fourth minute Seleznev rushes forward with the puck and tries twice: the first attempt is kick saved by Enroth and on the rebound shot the defender can’t convert the chance as the goalie stops the attempt nicely, with the glove. The goalkeeper repeats himself a minute later on a rush by Golubtsov. The game keeps to be on a state of uncertainty. At the sixth minute Sweden is dangerous with a couple of shots, but the defense contains the opponents. The game slows down a bit, but keeps being back and forth and thus interesting, but then at the 66:18 Doronin doesn’t manage to contain Backlund and the skilled Swede player from a sided position tries and succeeds in putting the puck in Bobrovskiy’s five hole, sending Russia to a disappointing bronze-medal final.

Alessandro’s player of the game: Nikita Filatov
Russia has a new frontman for the years to come, if he keeps playing that way. Other than an incredible puck handling skill and a superb technique, young Nikita is the player that seems to not get lost when it counts in the game, according to the mental side of this game and how well he made, despite the Russians’ defeat. The goal he scored is only a part of the overall good game he had today.

A HM must be given out to Alexei Cherepanov (New York Rangers) who also played well, assisting on Filatov’s goal and more.

Other notes…

Dmitriy Kugryshev (2008 eligible), Right Wing
Grade: C
Kugryshev had a limited role in this game. Has played well his shift, but they weren’t enough to actually allow to report on him.

Nikita Filatov (2008 eligible), Left Wing
Grade: B
Excellent game by him, not only because he scored the (unfortunately) lone goal for his team, but also because he was a threat every time he (and Cherepanov) hit the ice with his cleverness and his game reading. He does know what to do when he plays.

Alexei Cherepanov (New York Rangers) (New York Rangers), Right Winger
Grade:  B-
Good game for Cherepanov as well as Filatov. His play has boosted the whole team in the second period and he deserves definitely a good mark. Always dangerous in the powerplays because of his good vision and timing, he tarnished his performance with the avoidable penalty that led to Sweden’s tying goal.

Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers) (New York Rangers), Center
Grade: C+
Works hard as usual, but he wasn’t too dangerous though. He looked well on the line with Cherepanov and Filatov, but he could have played better. I think he is a better player than what he showed today. Anyway, he had some good offensive ideas.

Yuri Alexandrov (Boston Bruins) (Boston Bruins), Defender
Grade: C
One word for him: inconsistent. He is capable of great things, but also of ugly errors, like at the twenty-sixth minute, when he overplayed the puck allowing to an opponent forward the way to the crease. The problem is that he makes at least one of such mistakes every game almost. But when he will find his way, he will be an above average defenseman, that’s for sure. He only has to mature a bit.

Vyacheslav Voinov (2008 Eligible), Defender
Grade: B-
I do think that Vyacheslav Voinov has played an above average game. Good throughout the whole match, he made two great intervenes: at the twelfth on Forsberg and a big open ice hit at the sixth minute of the overtime on Figren, a handful of shifts before Sweden’s goal. He has gained lots since last season, where he played as 16 years old his first WJC, especially on the defensive side of the game.

Maxim Chudinov (2008 Eligible), Defender
Grade: C
Same speech as Kugryshev. Like him, he is to be revised at the next WC under 18, in April.

Related Player Profiles: . Y.Alexandrov A.Anisimov S.Bobrovsky A.Cherepanov M.Chudinov N.Filatov M.Mamin Y.Seleznev V.Voinov
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