International Ice Hockey Federation

Russia dominates 5-0

Russia dominates 5-0

Three first period goals propel win

Published 10.05.2014 01:47 GMT+3 | Author John Sanful
Russia dominates 5-0
MINSK, BELARUS - MAY 9: Russia's Alexander Ovechkin #8 celebrates after giving his team a 2-0 lead over Switzerland during preliminary round action at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)
The Russian offence was clicking today at Minsk Arena. Forward Sergei Plotnikov's opening-minute goal was all Russia needed.

Russia wasted little time in establishing their dominance over Switzerland. Three first-period goals propelled Russia to a 5-0 win over the 2013 silver medallists in the opening game of the 2014 IIHF World Championships at Minsk Arena.

Captain Alexander Ovechkin and Vadim Shipachyov paced the attack in keeping sustained offensive pressure on the Swiss throughout the game.

Sergei Bobrovski made 27 saves in earning a shutout and victory in his first World Championship appearance for Russia. It was a special win for the Russians coming on the Victory Day celebration.

The guys worked together, the forwards helped out in defence.

"It's a big day for everyone in Russia and we were aware of that in training," said Bobrovski.

For Switzerland, whose captain Mathias Seger set a new record with 16 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship participations, this was a very significant letdown. They simply could not answer Russia's challenge. After losing only the gold medal game in Stockholm last year, Switzerland looked like a very different team here at Minsk Arena, and in many respects were.

The Russians quickly got on the scoreboard fourteen seconds into the game when Sergei Plotnikov grabbed a touch pass from defenceman Vadim Shipachyov and raced in the Swiss end with a shot that beat netminder Leonardo Genoni.

"Every opposing player pays a lot of attention to Ovechkin, so I was left all alone and I had a shot," said Plotnikov. "I was straight into the game so I didn't have time to feel nervous. We were all focused on the game and determined not to lose."

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Russian special teams started very strong. With Robin Grossmann serving a penalty for tripping, Ovechkin made it 2-0 at 6:34 with a one timer off a pass from Anton Belov.

Artyom Anisimov almost added a shorthanded goal with Ovechkin in the box.

In fact, Russia was near dominant in the first half of the period before Switzerland came back to put together some solid chances on goal. Bobrovski made the stops he had to on the afternoon. For his efforts, Bobrovski was named player of the game for Russia.

Russia, though, would not be stopped and controlled the great majority of the game. After coming out of the penalty box, Shipachyov sent a fluttering shot in from the slipped through Genoni’s pads. 

The decidedly pro-Russia crowd lent their support throughout in this well attended first contest at Minsk Arena. Announced attendance was 13,300.

"We feel at home in Minsk," said Plotnikov. "There are so many of our fans here, and the support is terrific. Even the Belarusians are cheering for us. It's really nice."

Anton Belov widened the lead to 4-0 in the second period. Nikolai Kulyomin raced around the back of the net, sending a pass to Belov at the point. Belov’s slapshot found its way through everyone and between Genoni’s pads. 

Danis Zaripov would close out scoring with 1:35 left in the game.

"We didn't ease off in the closing stages, it was just that the Swiss team played pretty well," said Shipachyov. "Of course there were a few downsides for us, but the main thing is that we won."

There's little rest for Switzerland as they play the United States tomorrow evening. Russia takes to the ice again on Sunday against Finland.


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