26 May 2014
Russian Ice Hockey team is the world champion
A few hours before the final match the International Ice Hockey Federation adopted an unexpectedly tough decision to suspend the head coach of the Russian ice hockey team Oleg Znarok for one match. He was suspended for the final, after making a cut-throat gesture toward Sweden’s assistant coach Rickard Gronberga in the semifinals. Experts disagreed on the issue of Michael Baklund’s foul against Sergei Plotnikov and Znarok made a threatening gesture towards his opponent.
Both coaches were suspended and Znarok had to watch the tournament playoff match against the Finnish team from the stands. In his absence the team was led by his Assistant Harijs Vitolinsh.
The final match has started very nervously: the game had barely started when skirmishes and fights started happening one after another. Many penalties occurred in the beginning of the first period passed at infinity, which, however, provided benefit to the development of the game – in the middle of the period Russians could take advantage of the man advantage. Danis Zaripov passed the puck to Sergei Shirokov from behind the net, and Sergei Shirokov did not miss.
After conceding a goal Finns rushed to recoup, successfully ended the period and managed to equalize: Iiro Pakarinen received the puck in the slot and without interference put the puck into Sergei Bobrovsky’s net.
In the second 20 minute period the Finnish team managed to take advantage of the power play: Bobrowskiy reflected Jarkko Immonen’s throw but he failed to coup with Olli Palolo’s putback. But a few minutes later Alexander Ovechkin the captain of the Russian national team equalized. He suddenly jumped from behind the net into the slot and threw the puck past the bewildered goalie Pekka Rinne into the net. Evgeni Malkin scored a go-ahead goal four minutes before the second break and five minutes after the start of the third period Danis Zaripov jammed the fourth puck past Rinne. This assist was particularly beautiful – Sergei Shirokov quickly moved the puck from the left flank to the right and there Zaripov shot it into the roof of the net.
Viktor Tikhonov, the top scorer of the match, completed the victory — 5:2, correcting the puck shot by Alexander Kutuzov past Rinne.
At the end of the match Finnish players were noted roughing a few more times, but they could not affect the final score. The Russian national team has reclaimed its world title. Anton Belov, Viktor Tikhonov and Sergei Plotnikov joined the symbolic team of the championship. Tikhonov has also become the top scorer and sniper at the championship, scoring eight goals and assisting his partners eight times during the 10 matches.
The Russian team finished this championship with an absolute indicator, winning all its 10 games with a total score of 42:10. This is Russia’s fifth world title in the Russian history and 27th counting the victories of the Soviet Union.