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Author: Alessandro Seren RossoDate: 09/07/2009
Russia gets the third place

2009 U20 Four Nations Tournament (Finland)

Plyuschev's team Russia Under 20 disappointed once again in the four nations tournament in Finland after the three defeats in four matches suffered in America during the WJC evaluation camp. In this tournament only one victory arrived, against the Czechs, who were the worse team of the challenge as witnessed by the zero points in the final standings.

In the first match Team Russia has been beaten by the eventual winners of the tournament, team Sweden. Alexander Pechursky (Pittsburgh Penguins), who finished the match with 42 saves, allowed the first goal after two minutes only, when a big shot by Adam Larsson got in during a powerplay caused by a tripping by Maxim Chudinov. At the eleventh Sergei Ostapchuk tied it up after a pass by Sibir's Vladimir Tarasenko, but another powerplay goal put Russia back again at the fifteenth.
In the second period's start Petr Khokhryakov made it a 2-2 game, Evgeny Kuznetsov with the assist, but the third powerplay goal by Sweden, scored by Coyotes' prospect Oliver Ekman-Larsson put Sweden once again up by one goal. A third period goal by David Runblad fixed the score to the final 4-2.

The second match had simply been the second defeat for Russia, this time against Finland. Vladimir Plyuschev played Georgi Berdyukov in the second defensive pair with Dmitri Orlov (Washington Capitals), but despite the defense did look better (Berdyukov has been misteriously played in the fourth line against Sweden) the result was no different as the Finns got the contest 4-3. In the first period Jormarkka and Hartikainen lift Finland up by two, and the same players brought the game to 4-0. Midway through the match, a game-misconduct hit by Teemu Hartikainen sparked a brawl that saw Evgeny Timkin as starring, deserving a game-misconduct himself. Late in the second period and in the third one Russia reacted scoring three goals with Dmitri Orlov (Washington Capitals), Vladimir Tarasenko and Vyacheslav Kulemin, but it was too late.

The final match has been much easier, and the Russian got a deserved 5-0 win. Without Evgeny Timkin, Plyuschev shuffled a bit the lines icing Georgy Guryanov as first line center and moving Pavel Chernov to the third unit with Vyacheslav Kulemin and Maxim Trunev (Montreal Canadiens). The pair Orlov - Berdyukov has been confirmed in the second line after the good performance in the match against Finland. After a scoreless first period Vladimir Tarasenko, who has been the tournament's top scorer, put it in the back of the net just thirty-two seconds into the second period. At the 30'45" Georgiy Guryanov made it 2-0 after passes by Maxim Trunev (Montreal Canadiens) and Sergei Ostapchuk, while in the last minutes of the central stanza Pavel Chernov on a powerplay beaten the Czech goalie Pavel Francouz. The third period seen little of interesting, but the Russians run the score with another couple of markers with Dmitry Orlov and the second goal by Pavel Chernov.

The disappointing third place will make Plyuschev think a lot, and probably the team will change a lot once again for the next Four Nations Tournament, scheduled for November in St. Petersburg.

Team Russia's best players have been Vladimir Tarasenko, Sergei Ostapchuk and Pavel Chernov among the forwards, Dmitry Orlov, Maxim Chudinov and Georgy Berdyukov among the defensemen. Goalkeeper Alexander Pechursky (Pittsburgh Penguins) played rather well, especially in the first and third game, but he need more help from his defensemen.

Related Player Profiles: . G.Berdyukov P.Chernov M.Chudinov G.Guryanov V.Kulemin E.Kuznetsov D.Orlov S.Ostapchuk A.Pechursky V.Tarasenko E.Timkin M.Trunev
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