Group B – Ondrej Nepla Arena, Bratislava
The evening game in Bratislava was an ice hockey treat: World Champion Sweden against Olympic champion Russia. In the second sold out arena and exuberant mood and it was supposed to be a hockey festival.
As Sweden are in first place, they also started right away. Landeskog and Nylander had the first big chances, but Vasilevski was wide awake. In the first few minutes, Russia was still waiting. And the Swedes scored the first goal. Landeskog deflected a shot from Marcus Pettersson to the 1-0 lead for the World Champion (8.). Sweden pushed after, but Lindholm forgives his chance. Then came the „Red Machine“. With rolling attacks, there were some good chances. Kovalchuk fails from close range Goalie Markström and Kucherov only hits the outside net. A shot from Zadarov could defend Markström just yet. The Swedes survived this delicate phase and went into the first break.
After the break, Russia really got going. Kucherov initiates the first attack after the break. His pass goes to Gusev, who plays a cross pass to Anisimov and scored the 1-1 (21.). The Swedes awarded another chance by Larsson shortly thereafter. This goal was liberating Russia. Sergyachov makes a shot and Dadonov steers the puck to make it 2-1 (25.). This goal was first well given after video analysis. Sweden wanted to have seen a high stick. Then Russia really started and Ovechkin scored, after Malkin’s pass, the 3-1 (29.). Playfully, this Russian team commemorates the legendary USSR team, it went straightaway. The Swedes can hardly free themselves. Kuznetsov wins a face-off in the Swedish zone, Kaprizov shoots immediately and it was 4-1 (35.). It was not enough. After a mistake from Lindholm Grigorenko comes to the puck and scored the 5-1 (38.). Only 30 seconds later, Malkin scored 6-1 after Zadorov’s pass (38.).
Sweden tried again to change the course of the game, but Vasilevski had a shot from Eriksson. Russia countered but Kucherov failed to Markström and shortly after it was Dadonov. Elias Pettersson tried a long shot at a rare counterattack, which was not a problem for Vasilevski. The Swedes continue to beautify this result, and Nylander scored the 2-6 (53.). The response of the Russians was not long in coming, Orlov scored with a shot the 7-2 (53). The world champion remained in the game and Eriksson forgives another good opportunity to score. The Swedes continued to fight tirelessly and Ekman-Larsson scored the 3-7 (57.). In the last minute it was still Klingberg, who made with his goal the final score of 4: 7. With this victory Russia is group winner and Sweden has to travel to Kosice.
Team Sweden vs Team Russia 4-7 (1-0, 0-6, 3-1)
Group A – Steel Arena, Kosice
In the second game, record world champions Canada and the USA faced each other. As soon as these two teams meet, there were always interesting games, so should be today.
There were no 2 minutes played and Canada takes the lead through Dubois. Stone confused the goalie of the USA and let him go to the other side. Dubois had free rein and scored to 1-0. The Canadians pressed on and left the Americans very little room to play. It came to a 2-0 lead for Canada by Turris after well-played pass from Mantha (9.). The USA came to their chances but the conclusion was always an opponent in between. Larkin got a shot and retired due to injury.
The Americans got out of the cab and pushed to the connecting goal. Quinn Hughes had the chance, but the shot went past the gate. The Canadians played a good power play but the puck did not want to score. The Americans could not use their power play game. The Canadians were pleased that the puck had landed in the goal, but the referee showed „high stick“ of Stone, who faked the disc into the goal. Even after the video proof they stayed with the decision – no goal and it remained in the 2-0 for Canada. A short time later, but then fell the 3-0 for Canada by McCann.
Still no goal in overpopulation for Canada, USA with a good boxing play. USA tried to score, but the Canadians successfully prevented it. In the last few minutes, the Americans got another over-game. Great opportunity for the US, Murray lay on the ground nor the Canadians shot the disc out of the third. The Americans could not take advantage of the overpower game as well. Shut-out victory for Canada, so that all three goalies of Canada once held zero.
Team Canada vs Team USA 3-0 (2-0, 1-0, 0-0)