Bronze Medal Game, Ondrej Nepla Arena, Bratislava

IIHF World Championship Bronze Medal Game Russia vs Czech Republic #98 Mikhail Sergachyov, #61 Nikita Zadorov, #71 Ilya Kovalchuk, #88 Andrei Vasilevski. Ondrej Nepela Arena ©Puckfans.at/Andreas Robanser

In the match for bronze, Russia and the Czech Republic meet. This pairing was already in the preliminary round, this game has won Russia 3-0. The Russians after the surprising 0-1 defeat against Finland, wanted to reach at least the third place.

In the beginning, the Russian team was the more active team, awarded by Ovechkin the first good opportunity. Shortly after that it was Kucherov, but Czech goalie Hrubec fended off. The first power play also had the „Red Machine“, which immediately settled in the Czech zone. But Goalie Hrubec was able to defuse the shots of Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. In a quick counter-attack Kovar had bad luck, his shot deflected Vasilevski and the puck passes by centimeters by the gate. The Russians continued to push for the first goal, which should succeed. After a shot from Grigorenko the puck slip under Hrubec to 1-0 into the goal (13.). The Czech’s response followed just 41 seconds later. Sklenicka with a long pass to Repik. He had a lot of space and scored the 1-1 (14.). This goal gave the Czechs more courage and shortly before the break Kubalik scored the first Czech lead to make it 2-1 (19.).

IIHF World Championship Bronze Medal Game Russia vs Czech Republic #88 Andrei Vasilevsky. Ondrej Nepela Arena ©Puckfans.at/Andreas Robanser

In the middle period, only 39 seconds were played and Russia equalized. After a shot from Anisimov Gudas deflects the puck so unhappy that it slides under the schooners of Hrubec in the gate – 2-2 (21.). Russia continue to advance after the second break and Ovechkin fail Hrubec. As the period of urgency of the Russians was over, the Czech Republic came to opportunities. But the Russian goalie Vasilevski is against Zohorna, Repik and Rutta claim. The middle period further balanced and fell despite good chances no further goals.

The final third was very balanced, but the high-profile chances did not materialize. The best found Kaprizov or Czech Gusev. It went back and forth, Kucherov and Dadanov for Russia, on the part of the Czechs Simon and Frolik forgiven further possibilities on a goal. Two minutes before the end Faksa had the victory on the stick, but again Vasilevski was the winner. It remained in this draw and it went into the over-time.

IIHF World Championship Bronze Medal Game Russia vs Czech Republic #30 Simon Hrubec, #97 Nikita Gusev. Ondrej Nepela Arena ©Puckfans.at/Andreas Robanser

In overtime Hronek had the victory on the stick, but Vasilevski could secure the puck in the second attempt. For the Russians Zaitsev had a good opportunity, but the puck goes far over the gate. Chances were there for both teams but no one could beat the very good goalies. The best chance had Gusev, he shoots, after a perfect pass from Kucherov, past the empty goal. It had then decide the penalty shoot-out.

The penalty shoot-out wins Russia 2-0 – Gusev exploits the decisive penalty – and brings the bronze medal.

Photo Galerie RUS vs CZE

Team Russia vs Team Czech Republic 3-2 OS (1-2, 1-0, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0)