U-20 team Russia overcomes Switzerland in an exciting goal-filled matchup
This match was the last stage of
team Russia’s preparation for the upcoming U-20 World Championships in Ufa,
The team’s lines did not undergo any changes compared to the last several training sessions. Both teams had 24 players in their line-ups. Only one player was missing from the line-up – Pavel Koledov caught a cold. Saskatoon Blades’ goaltender Andrey Makarov started the match in the net.
Team Switzerland arrived in Ufa earlier than their opponents. Swiss team trained at Zorge Street Sports Palace where the matches of teams from group A will take place. Switzerland’s opponents in the round robin are Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic and Latvia.
The spectators at Ufa Arena were in for a goal-fest as they saw the goal buzzer go off a total of eight times in the first period alone. In the very first attack the Swiss made a defensive lapse which resulted in 1:0 on the scoreboard at the hands of Nikita Kucherov. Three minutes later Russia doubled their lead when Aleksandr Khokhlachev tallied a power play goal.
Such auspicious start must have calmed our team down, and Switzerland quickly made their opponents pay. Kunzle pulled one back for the Swiss team. Russia quickly reestablished the two-goal margin, but after that could not hold the barrage of attacks on Makarov’s goal which led to team Switzerland’s three consecutive goals and 4:3 lead. Thankfully, Nail Yakupov was able to tie the game before the break and keep his team in it.
Right after the intermission Switzerland pulled ahead again at the hands of Berci. Team Russia was visibly struggling in almost every aspect of the game; team’s head coach Mikhail Varnakov had to shake up the lines. This brought our team back together; first Shalunov took his opportunity on the crease, and then Grigorenko’s slapshot made the lead change hands again – 6:5.
The treat of 11 goals in the first two periods did not entail the same thing in the third. With a handful of scoring chances on both sides, the only goal of the period was scored by Nikita Kucherov. Switzerland tried to save the matchup and pulled the goaltender, but all to no avail. 7:5 – a goal-fest and a victory for team Russia.
Stats and details
U-20 team Russia vs. U-20 team Switzerland – 7:5 (4:4, 2:1, 1:0)
Goals: Kucherov (Grigorenko), 1 (1:0); Khokhlachev (Sigarev), 4 (2:0 – PP); Kunzle (Siber), 4 (2:1); Yarullin (Khokhlachev), 6 (3:1 – PP); Berci, 8 (3:2); Marcini (Koukan), 12 (3:3 – PP); Bertaggia (Berci), 15 (3:4); Yakupov, 15 (4:4); Berci, 24 (4:5); Shalunov (Tkachev), 37 (5:5); Grigorenko (Kucherov), 40 (6:5 – PP), Kucherov (Khokhlachev), 53 (7:5 – PP).
U-20 team Russia
Makarov (Andrey Vasilevsky, 20:00);
Yarullin –Nesterov, Yakupov – Khokhlachev – Sigarev;
Dyblenko – Dyakov, Kucherov – Grigorenko – Slepyshev;
Mironov – Tryamkin,Nichushkin– Tkachev –Shalunov;
Aleksey Vasilevsky – Sergeyev, Kapustin – Kosov – Mozer;
Penalty Minutes: 14 - 28.