Vladislav Sukhachyov had 31 saves and six separate players scored a goal as Russia earned a birth in the World Under-17 Challenge gold medal game thanks to a 6-1 victory over Finland.

The Russians had quite the start, scoring two goals before the game was even five minutes old. Dmitri Alexeyev’s point shot at 2:49 beat Finnish netminder Leevi Laakso between the pads, securing the 1-0 lead. Maxim Bain doubled the lead just 80 seconds later, and while it was unknown to the players at the time, it would prove to be the game winning goal.

Six minutes into the game, Emil Oksanen recorded Finland’s first and only goal of the game, knocking in a power play goal from in close to cut the lead in half. The Finnish momentum didn’t last for long, as Vitali Abramov scored ten minutes in to make it 3-1 for the eventual victors. The goal would prove to be the end for Laakso, who allowed three goals on just five shots to start the game.

Russia had a great second period, scoring two goals to continue the rampage. First, Vyacheslav picked up a rebound left by new Finnish goalie Kimmo Rautiainen to make it 4-1.  Less than two minutes after that, Dmitri Sokolov finished off a beautiful passing play between the line mates, giving his team the 5-1 lead heading into the third.

Finland were the much better team in the third. Leading the two teams in shots during the third (14-5), the team in blue and white peppered Sukhachyov with great scoring chances but came out empty handed each time. Russia, on the other end, got a sixth goal from Nikita A. Popugayev, who completed the onslaught with under two minutes remaining.

With the victory, Russia will face USA in the finals on Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN2). Finland will face their longtime Scandinavian rivals from Sweden in the bronze medal game on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. ET, TSN), hoping to grab just their fourth World Under-17 medal in the history of the tournament.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.


About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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