RUSSIA TOPS CZECHS TO CLAIM BRONZE
PARADISE, N.L. – Nikolai Terentev found the back of the net twice, Airat Khamzin registered a goal and a helper and Evgenii Plotnikov made nine saves to lead Russia to a 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic in the bronze medal game Saturday at the 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup.
Ilia Volkov, Airat Khamzin and Aleksei Eremin also scored for Russia, which earned its first medal at the competition since 2015 in Leduc, Alta.
The Czech Republic, eyeing to score its first goal of the tournament, made a resolute push out of the gate to accomplish that objective with its strongest forechecking shifts of the week, but Plotnikov fended off the early pressure.
Terentev swung control of the match the other way at 3:22, staking Russia to a 1-0 lead with a forehand deke on a breakaway.
Russia threatened to add more goals but Vapanka came through for his Czech teammates with some terrific saves, including a pair 2-on-1 rushes and a breakaway.
Shots on goal favoured Russia 9-3 in period one.
Momentum carried over into the second period as Russia generated the first five scoring attempts. This work was rewarded just over five minutes into the frame as Volkov batted the puck into the back of the net from the slot to increase his team’s lead to 2-0.
Terentev put Russia ahead by three late in the period, one-timing the puck from the bottom of the left circle into the Czech cage after receving a deft pass from Shikov in the slot.
Russia outshot the Czech Republic 8-3 in the second period.
The Czechs increased their urgency in the third period in a bid to try and avoid being shut out for the fifth-straight game, but every single attempt was denied by Plotnikov.
The Czech Republic’s push was evaporated by two Russian goals in 27 seconds. Khamzin lit the lamp at 8:27 with a tap-in goal, and then Eremin cashed in on a rebound from Igor Maletskiy’s hard, low release.
Russia outshot the Czech Republic 12-3 in the third.