Russia and tournament host Finland locked horns in one of the most exciting games of the tournament today, with the Russians coming out on top 6-4.
Game in 30 Seconds
— Carlos Verde (@Carlos77Verde) December 28, 2015
Monday afternoon’s game had everything; beautiful goals, a lightning-quick pace, skill, physical play, and a reviewed goal at a crucial time.
First period goals from Sebastian Aho and Patrik Laine saw the host Finns take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Kirill Kaprizov had Russia’s lone first period goal on a powerplay one-timer.
An Aleksi Saarela powerplay goal from point-blank range just 53 seconds into the middle frame gave the Finns a temporary two-goal lead before the Russian special teams storm hit land.
Andrei Svetlakov’s short-handed snipe at 8:48 pulled the Russians within one goal, and was followed in short order by a Pavel Kraskovski powerplay goal to tie the game at three.
Russian forward Vladislav Kamenev then went roof-daddy on Finnish goaltender Veini Vehvilainen at 15:28 – again on the powerplay – and Russia took a lead they would never relinquish.
Alex Polunin then doubled the Russian lead some 37 seconds later on a crease-crashing scramble goal, and Valeri Bragin’s team took a 5-3 lead into the second intermission.
The Finns again found a goal early in a period in the third, with Saarela beating Russian goaltender Alex Georgiev just 1:18 into the final frame on a reviewed goal.
Georgiev shut the door on the Finns the rest of the way, with Radel Fazleyev scoring a crucial insurance marker with seven minutes to go.
All things considered, it was a very workmanlike performance from the Russians; they flashed skill, looked good defensively, and picked up a deserved three points against the favoured Finns, who struggled with discipline issues and D-zone assignments.