RUSSIA BEATS CZECHS, MOVES INTO GOLD MEDAL GAME AT WJAC
JASON LA ROSE
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Pavel Tyutnev scored a natural hat trick in the first period, Daniil Gushchin added two goals of his own and Russia booked a return trip to the gold medal game at the World Junior A Challenge with a 5-1 win over the Czech Republic on Saturday night.
The Russians, who lost 2-0 to the United States in the final year ago, will take on Canada East for gold on Sunday night (5 p.m. MT, TSN2).
Neither team has ever stood atop the podium, but that will change at the Encana Events Centre.
Aleksander Pashin, Kirill Kirsanov and Artyom Grushnikov had two assists each for the Russians, while Yegor Guskov made 20 saves.
The scoring started fast and furious in the first period, with two Russian goals in the first five minutes.
Gushchin was first at 3:06, driving to the net and tucking a shot past goaltender Jan Skorpik, and Tyutnev had his centring pass go in off the skate of a Czech defender to make it 2-0 at 4:32.
Tyutnev added a second goal midway through the opening frame, roofing a shot off a two-on-one with Pashin, and he finished his hat trick with an individual effort, dancing around one Czech before using another as a screen and beating Skorpik with a bullet from just inside the blue-line at 17:14.
He became just the fourth player in tournament history to record three goals in a period, and the first since Ryan Fitzgerald did it for the United States against Canada East on Nov. 5, 2012.
Jakub Dobes took over in the Czech goal to begin the second period after Skorpik allowed four goals in 13 shots.
Gushchin got his second of the game late in the middle frame, blowing down the right wing and going to the far side on Dobes.
All that was left to be decided in the third period was whether Guskov would get the shutout, but Matej Morong snapped in a shot off a face-off with under seven minutes left to get the Czechs on the board.
The Czechs, who lost in regulation for the first time in the tournament, will face the United States for bronze on Sunday afternoon (12 p.m. MT, TSN2).