2010 WC: Russia trumps Finland 5-0 (Photo © REUTERS/Grigory Dukor)
Team Finland started well the first period, putting a lot of pressure over Varlamov. But despite a long 5-on-3 chance with Alexei Emelin and Dmitry Kulikov in the penalty box, the Finns didn’t manage to score. With the teams back on even strength Kulikov had a good chance getting out of the sin bin, but he was hooked down by a defenceman, thus drawing a penalty for Bykov’s team. On the consequent man advantage team Russia cycled well the puck, but couldn’t get it into Vehanen’s net.
In the second period Russia started pushing a bit more and midway through the game they had a great chance when Evgeni Malkin and Kovalchuk exchanged the puck while on a 2-on-0, but Vehanen robbed Malkin of a goal with a fantastic save on the forward’s one timer.
At the 33rd minute, with the man advantage, a good rush put Russia up by two goals. Ilya Kovalchuk got the puck deep in the slot, but instead of shooting he nicely served Evgeny Malkin, who one timed the puck between Vehanen’s legs.
The consequent face off was won by Rangers’ Artem Anisimov. Maxim Afinogenov rushed fast on the right and shot, Nikolai Kulemin picked up the rebound and put it in the back of the net.
The thid period started well for Russia as they managed to quickly score twice. First Alexei Emelin scored with a great slap shot from the blue line, then Maxim Afinogenov spoiled a wrong change by Finland to get in front of Vehanen and make it a 5-0 goal with a quick wrist shot. After this goal team Finland benched Vehanen and brought in Predators’ Pekka Rinne.
The rest of the game was considerably slower and the Russians could celebrate a deserved win. Semyon Varlamov started between the pipes and finished the game with a 36-save shutout.
Team Russia’s next game will be the quarterfinal game against Canada, scheduled for Tuesday, May 20th.