The game was really never in doubt as Russia blew out Norway by a score of 11-0. Anton Slepyshev, Nikita Zadorov and Vadim Khlopotov all scored twice and Alexander Barabanov, Nikita Tryamkin, Mikhail Grigorenko, Vyacheslav Osnovin and Damir Zhafyarov each netted one. The goalie combo of Andrei Vasilevsky and Ivan Nalimov combined for the easy shut out over the weak Norwegian side. Zhafyarov led the way in total points for Russia with three.
The Russians, as you would expect, controlled the puck extremely well early on but could not get a great shot off against the Norwegians. It would be Russia that opened the scoring as Alexander Barabanov fought off his defender and made the centering pass for Vyacheslav Osnovin who made no mistake to put Russia up 1-0. After failing to convert on a two-on-one with Bogdan Yakimov ringing one off the post, Russia added on to their lead. Pavel Buchnevich flew down the wing and found a trailing Nikita Zadorov and his wrist shot beat Henrik Haukeland upstairs to give the Russians a 2-0 lead. Seconds later, Russia scored again. Osnovin came down on a two-on-one with Damir Zhafyarov and Zhafyarov beat Haukeland to make it 3-0 less than halfway into the first period. However, it would be Norway who would get the game’s first power play and a chance to get back into the game off of a Pavel Buchnevich high-sticking penalty. Russia, though, would kill the penalty off with ease as Norway barely ever rendered a threat. Being on the penalty kill doesn’t change much for Russia as they would go up 4-0. Andrei Mironov’s first shot was stopped by Haukeland, and then he stopped Ivan Barbashev on the doorstep only to have the puck fall right onto the stick of Vadim Khlopotov who buried it to grow Russia’s lead even more. The game didn’t get any better for the Norwegians when Russia scored once again. Ilya Lyubushkin left it for Mikhail Grigorenko at the Norway blue line, and Grigorenko came into the offensive zone, stopped up at the face-off circle and rifled a terrific wrist shot by Haukeland to put Russia up 5-0. The Russians would get a few more chances in the last few minutes – including a Yakimov and Barbashev two-on-one – but thankfully for Norway, they couldn’t convert as Russia took their commanding 5-0 lead into the first intermission. Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevski faced a total of 3 shots in that period. Needless to say, Russia dominated.
Norway actually came close to getting a scoring chance, but the Russian defense clear it out in front of Vasilevski before the Norwegian forwards can do anything. Then it’s Russia storming the crease and making Haukeland lay flat on his back to cover up the puck and keep it out. Like the beginning of the first period, Russia dominated puck possession but just couldn’t beat Haukeland. That was until Vadim Khlopotov got his second of the game. After some good work by Yakimov and Barbashev below the goal line of Norway, Yakimov finds Khlopotov beat Haukeland, 6-0. A couple of minutes later, Russia scored again. Nikita Tryamkin had his first shot denied, he picked up the big rebound and beat Haukeland to give Russia a 7-0 advantage. Off the ensuing face-off, Endre Medby of Norway takes a tripping penalty so Russia got another chance to score, and score they would. Anton Slepyshev took a pass from the other side of the offensive zone from Grigorenko and wires a one-time past Haukeland’s blocker top shelf, 8-0. Russia got another power play, this time from a Jörgen Karterud hooking penalty. This time the Norwegian penalty kill did their job and kept Russia from scoring. After their PK unit did a good job, Norway’s power play got a second chance from a Valentin Zykov tripping penalty. However, it would be Russia who scored. Nikita Zadorov stole the puck from a Norway player and came in on a partial breakaway then beat Haukeland with a wrister to give Russia a 9-0 advantage. The Russians then went on to kill the Zykov penalty and then go back to the power play due to a Simen Nielsen elbowing penalty. It didn’t take long for them to convert as a point shot from Tryamkin was deflected by Alexander Barabanov and beat Haukeland to make it an even 10-0 for Russia and that was the score Russia would go into the intermission with.
To begin the third period, both teams change goalies but obviously for different reasons. For Norway, Henrik Haukeland was pulled in favor of Joachim Svendsen after Haukeland allowed 10 goals. As for Russia, they took out star goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky for Ivan Nalimov to get Vasilevsky some rest with the game well in hand. The Russians got another power play less than four minutes into the final period after Ludvig Hoff ran Grigorenko from behind, but it would be killed by the Norwegian penalty killers. Hoff also received a 10 minute misconduct for the play as it definitely a dangerous play on a star player for the Russians. A little under eight minutes in, Ilya Lyubushkin’s dump from the blue line takes a funny bounce off of the corner and finds its way to the slot and Slepyshev slapped it past Svendsen, 11-0 Russia. Under ten minutes left in the game, the Norway power play got another shot from a Pavel Buchnevich tripping penalty but the Russians killed that as well. The remainder of the third period was more of the same: Russian dominance. However, they didn’t score. With just over a minute to go, Bogdan Yakimov got a slashing penalty to give the Norwegians one last chance to score, but they do not as Russia takes the win 11-0.
Instead of giving out three stars, I’ll just say that the entire Russian team played extremely well and I couldn’t say there was someone who didn’t deserve to be a star. Although, if I had to pick someone who impressed me the most, it was Mikhail Grigorenko. While everyone expected the Buffalo Sabre to be a dominant force, he looked like he was another planet better than the Norwegians out there. You also had to feel bad for the Norwegians, especially goalie Henrik Haukeland.
Team Russia Combinations:
Anton Slepyshev-Pavel Buchnevich-Mikhail Grigorenko
Damir Zhafyarov-Vyacheslav Osnovin-Alexander Barabanov
Bogdan Yakimov-Ivan Barbashev-Vadim Khlopotov
Nikolai Skladnichenko-Georgi Busarov-Eduard Gimatov
Extra forward: Valentin Zykov
Nikita Zadorov-Andrei Mironov
Ilya Lyubushkin-Nikita Tryamkin
Alexei Bereglazov-Kirill Maslov
Extra defenseman: Valeri Vasiliev
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