International Ice Hockey Federation

Russia beats Slovakia

Group A leaders aiming for top seed, playoffs

Published 19.04.2015 15:33 GMT+2 | Author Adam Steiss
Russia beats Slovakia
LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 19: Slovakia's Adam Huska #30 reaches out to poke the puck away from Russia's Kirill Kaprizov #21 during preliminary round action at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Russia continues its strong 2015 campaign at the IIHF U18 World Championship defeating Slovakia 4-2 and pushing its undefeated record to three games.

Russia came into the third holding a 3-1 lead, but the Slovaks weren’t finished yet. With 11:34 on the clock Filip Lestan cut the lead to one, burying a rebound after a shot on net from Andrej Vadovic.

But a good effort from Danila Kvartalnov behind the Slovak net put his team back up by two. Thhe Russian forward gained control of the puck and outmuscled the Slovak defender long enough to get it out in front to Danil Yurtaikin for the goal. Ilya Samsonov held off Slovakia the rest of the way as the Russians wrapped up their third straight win. 

"We are doing thing well with the scoring," said Russian captain Yegor Rykov. "Some of the goals we had weren't nice, but they happened because of hard work and that raise's the team up when we get those goals."

It has been a tournament of highs and lows through two games for Slovakia, which had the joy of an opening day upset of Sweden tempered by a 10-0 trouncing at the hands of the United States. Russia, on the other hands, has looked excellent so far in wins against USA and Germany.

The Slovaks started well enough, generating scoring chances early and matching the speed of the Russian team. But it was the Russians who drew first blood with a strong effort from Artyom Ivanyuzhenkov, forcing his to the net between two Slovak defenders. Goalie Adam Huska fell to the ice too early trying to poke check the puck away, allowing Ivanyuzhenkov cut away from the net and to lift the puck past Huska for the 1-0 lead.

Continue reading

Rusia struck again a minute later, Kirill Kaprizov setting up Denis Guryanov in front of the net.
The Slovaks kept pushing however, and after missing out on a few power play opportunities hit paydirt with 2:34 left to go in the first. Petr Horvath and Samuel Solinsky made a great passing play on an odd-man rush, resulting in Horvath putting the puck past Samsonov to trim the lead to 2-1.

Russia went back up by two early in the second period, as Kirill Belyayev heled the puck long enough to draw the defenders towards him before firing a quick centering pass to Dmitri Zhukenov in front of the net for the one-timer.

Russia (3W-0L) is now firmly in control in Group A and with just one more preliminary round game agaisnt Sweden left has the inside track at seizing the top seed. Slovakia (1W-2L) will need to win against Germany in its final preliminary round game to avoid a trip to the relegation round.

"We need to keep putting pucks on the net, there is always room for improvement," said Rykov. "But this is a good start for us."