RUSSIANS COME BACK IN THIRD TO EDGE SWEDES
JASON LA ROSE
SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. – Vladimir Sychev netted the game-winning goal with 3:51 to go, and Russia scored three times in the final 13 minutes to post a 5-4 win over Sweden in the preliminary-round finale for both Tuesday afternoon at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The victory is the first for the Russians and vaults them into second place in Group B for the time being, but they will finish third following the White-Finland game later in the day. They will face Canada Black in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
The Swedes had already clinched top spot in the group, regardless of their result. They will face either Canada White or the Czech Republic in their quarter-final.
With the game trending towards overtime, Sychev took a cross-ice pass from Aleksei Prokopenko and snuck a shot under the arm of Swedish goaltender William Jupiter, who made 52 saves in a losing cause.
As has often been the case at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex this week, goaltending was the story early. Jupiter stopped all 17 shots he faced in a scoreless first period, while Russian counterpart Pavel Kanaev was 12-for-12.
The offences found their footing in a big way in the second, combining for five goals.
Fedor Svechkov was first at 4:46, redirecting a feed from Danila Iurov past Jupiter, but Viggo Olsson needed just 45 seconds to poke in a loose puck and bring the Swedes back even.
Svechkov struck again nine minutes into the middle frame, going short-side on Jupiter, but again the lead didn’t last; Marcus Limpar Lantz jumped on a bounce off the end-boards and tucked in the 2-2 goal five minutes later.
Olsson got his second of the period with less than three minutes left, jumping into the rush and watching as Kanaev, a Russian defender and the puck all ended up in the net to send Sweden to the dressing room with its first lead.
The third period belonged to Russia, which outshot the Swedes 22-5 in the final 20 minutes.
Ivan Mehovov tied it just past the seven-minute mark, banking a shot off Jupiter and in from the behind the net, and Vsevolod Gaidamak found a soft spot in the slot before snapping a shot past the Swedish netminder midway through the period.
Fabian Lysell scored his fourth goal in two games to draw Sweden with seven minutes left, changing his angle at the top of the circle and beating Kanaev, but Sychev ensured the Russians would beat the Swedes for the fourth time in three years at the tournament.