RUSSIA – FINLAND 3:4 (1:2, 1:1, 1:1) GOALS: 0:1 Pakaslahti (Berg, Ruutu 1:58); 1:1 Kovalchuk
(Atlanta Thrashers) (Gusev, Simakov – 12:40); 1:2 Ruutu (Rita, Kukkonen
– 18:19); 1:3 Peltonen (Jokinen, Mantyla – 28:18pp); 2:3 Skugarev
(Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers), Simakov – 29:33);
3:3 Gladskikh (Vancouver Canucks) (Kaigorodov
-47:15); 3:4 Jokinen (Peltonen, Nummelin – 59:21); SHOTS: 33-30 PIM: 38-16 GOALIES: Sokolov – Backstrom GAME NOTES: The Russians started the game off with several individual ventures by
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) and Oleg
Saprykin (Phoenix Coyotes), but since there wasn’t much of combinational
hockey to speak of, the Finns had little trouble in stopping the talented Russians.
After going down one goal, Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta
Thrashers) tied the game for Russia half way through the first period when he
broke into the offensive on the left flank, beat a defenseman and shot the puck.
The goalie seemingly deflected the shot, but the puck slowly crossed the goal
line...Artem Kriukov (Buffalo Sabres) was given 2+10
penalty in the third period for hitting a Finn player from behind ...Kovalchuk
(Atlanta Thrashers) was active throughout the game and was a constant threat
to the Finns. Besides scoring, he assisted on Russia’s second goal when
he broke to the net and his attempted shot was finally put in by Skugarev...Alexei
Kaigorodov (Ottawa Senators) assisted on Russia’s game tying short
handed goal when he fed the puck to Evgeni Gladskykh, who streaked in next to
the boards through a defenseman and one timed Kaigorodov’s pass behind the
goalie...Oleg Saprykin (Phoenix Coyotes) played solid
individual hockey, but caused the first goal when he streaked in the offensive
zone by himself, was stripped of the puck and as a result left behind the play.
Accoridng the Sport Express newspaper, Team Russia’s head coach Vladimir Yurzinov has reportedly requested the services of young center Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins), but Metallurg’s general managere Genadi Velichkin has stated that Malkin will only skate for Russia’s U20 squad and is too tired from the hectic schedule of the regular season to participate in the tournament.
Team Russia has reportedly lost several key members of the squad to injuries just days before the tournament is scheduled to start. Viktor Kozlov (New Jersey Devils) suffered a pulled groin. Alexander Frolov (Los Angeles Kings) will also miss the tournament due to naggin injuries. Andrei Zyuzin (Salavat Yulayev) will also likely miss it. Arterm Chubarov (Vancouver Canucks) has already missed three weeks due to a foot injury and will definitely miss the tournament.