Russia loses to Slovakia in shootout, 1-2 (Photo © AP Photo)
A shootout goal by Pavol Demitra gave Slovakia the edge over Team Russia in the Olympic Hockey tournament‘s round robin. In the Group B standings Russia retains the lead with 4 points, but with one game more than Czech Republic, who beaten team Slovakia yesterday.
Bykov’s team had some chances at the start, especially with a shot from the high slot by Alexander Ovechkin, but Jaroslav Halak saved all the 10 opponents’ attempts. 8 saves so far for Ilya Bryzgalov.
In the second period Alexei Morozov scored the 1-0 goal with a good one time from the right circle after another bad powerplay show by Team Russia. Bykov’s team controlled most of the play in the middle stanza and got twice near to the second goalie, first with Maxim Afinogenov, then with a great rush by Evgeni Malkin, but Halak was ready in both plays. Team Slovakia had some chances too, but Bryzgalov has been steady and kept Russia up by one goal.
In the third period’s start Team Russia killed a double powerplay for the Slovaks. With the teams back on even strength Ovechkin had a good counterattack chance, but Halak once again saved his team.
Midway through the period Slovakia tied it up with a shot by superstar Marian Hossa, who put the puck between Bryzgalov’s pads. The match was played at good pace, but it didn’t see any other big chance.
The third period ended with the teams tied at one and thus the match is going to the overtime, in which the teams didn’t manage to be dangerous.
In the shootout Jozef Stumpel and Ovechkin scored in the first three attempts. Bykov tried different shooters later, Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk, but it didn’t work out. Thanks to Halak’s saves and Demitra’s goal Slovakia could celebrate a deserved win.
Here is the video of Demitra’s game-winning shootout attempt.
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