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Author: Alessandro Seren RossoDate: 04/17/2009
Russia downs Sweden, skates to the semifinals

2009 U18 World Junior Championships

With a disciplined and focus performance, Russia skated past Sweden 4-1 and got the pass for the semis against Finland, that already beaten Nemchinov's team in the round robin. Team Russia managed to not overdo keeping it simple, playing well in defense and going forward relying on the stars and spoiling the opponents' mistakes. Goalkeeper Igor Bobkov delivered yet another great performance between the pipes stopping 44 shots. "But Americans throw stronger than Swedes" - admitted the young goalie after the match.

Tre Kronor scored though the first goal of the match, the unique of the first period, at the sixteenth minute with Jacob Josefson. The yellow team's lead wasn't long: at the twenty-fifth minute, during a powerplay, a nice, accurate wrist shot by Dmitri Orlov from the left circle made it a tie game. In the end of the second period a solo effort by Kirill Kabanov put Russia ahead by a goal, a lead that seemed huge despite it looked tiny on the scoreboard.

The third stanza started well for Russians even if a penalty whistled against Kabanov could have caused some havoc. But when a Swede mis-handled the puck Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alexander Burmistrov could go two-on-one in a shorthanded counterattack. Kuznetsov successfully brought ahead the puck and then with a great pass feeded Burmistrov right in front of the empty net for the 3-1.

Russians kept on attacking, and when a slalom by Sergei Ankudinov was foully stopped by a Swedish defenseman, the ref had nothing to do than calling a penalty shot. Plyuschev indicated the young Evgeny Kuznetsov as a taker, who cooled down the pressure and scored with a nice wrist shot after a deke on the right side. "Plyuschev didn't improvise in asking me the penalty shot" - said Evgeny in the locker rooms - I train a lot on penalties during the trainings".

"Yes, it's always desiderable to attempt a penalty, but you can't argue against such an executor like Kuznetsov!" - had to admit Kirill Kabanov after the match. Team Russia will face Finland in the semifinals on Friday. The team to go through will face the winner of the other semifinals match, Canada vs USA. "I'd rater play against Canada" - stated Nikita Pivtsakin after the match - "Canada - Russia is a classic!"

Sweden – Russia 1-4 (1-0, 0-2, 0-2)
16:31 1-0 Jacob Josefson (Ekman Larsson, Wallén)
25:09 1-1 Dmitri Orlov ( Nikita Zaitsev, Alexander Burmistrov)PP
39:15 1-2 Kirill Kabanov (Vladimir Tarasenko)
43:19 1-3 Alexander Burmistrov (Evgeny Kuznetsov) SH
51:50 1-4 Evgeny Kuznetsov PS

Related Player Profiles: . I.Bobkov A.Burmistrov K.Kabanov E.Kuznetsov D.Orlov N.Pivtsakin V.Tarasenko N.Zaitsev
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