(Courtesy of Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)
On Tuesday, Russia defeated lowly Kazakstan with an impressive 4-1 victory. Goals from Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya
Kovalchuk, Alex Semin, and Denis Grebeshkov meant all the scoring was done by the NHLers for the first time in the tournament. Ovechkin opened the scoring mid-way through the first period with a wrist shot which beat Kazah goalie Vitali Yeremeyev. Captain Ilya Kovalcuk doubled the lead for his first goal of the tournament just 42 seconds into the second period on a breakaway.
Minutes later Semin would get on the score sheet with his first goal to put Russia up 3-0 beating Yeremeyev with a 15 foot wrister. By the time Grebeshkov found his way to the score sheet the game was clearly in the favor of the Russian’s and his tally would only solidify it.
Keeper Alexander Eremenko was just minutes from a shutout before Dmitri Dudarev scored on a power play. Eremenko who watched the first game from the bench finished the game with 18 saves. Semyon Varlamov appeared to have his gear as he watched from the bench and could feature in the game against Belarus on Thursday.
Russia will have to wait for a real opponent in the next round as neither Slovakia or Kazahstan put up much of a fight and I cant imagine Belarus doing much better come Thursday. It will be interesting to see how Varalamov performs as well as if the addition of Datsyuk will make the team more dangerous.