Russia Rallies Past Canada En Route to Semifinals

(courtesy of AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR)

Having played two periods of what looked like hopeless hockey, Team Russia overturned a 1-0 deficit against a favorite rival to secure a place in the semi-finals of the 2011 Men’s World Championships. Canada would grab the first goal of the game on a Jason Spezza breakaway in the second period and would hold on as Russia failed to convert on every powerplay they got through the interval. Russia was even gifted a 4-minute man advantage after Ilya Kovalchuk received a stick to the face by his own teammate only to have the ref pinch John Tavares, they would fail to bother goalie Jonathan Bernier with any real pressure.

Ilya Nikulin had one of the better chances in the early going of the third period when his shot rang off the crossbar and appeared to have crossed the goaline. However the play was called a no-goal upon further review as Russia continued to scramble for an equalizer. They would finally get it from an unlikely source as Alexander Radulov would swoop through two defenseman and beat Bernier blocker-side on the penalty kill to knot things up at 1. Three minutes later, Alexander Radulov would find Kovalchuk who would bury a one-time through Reimer for his first goal of the tournament.

The comeback stunned the Canadians as they failed to really test Konstantin Barulin who made 36 saves and Russia would give their counterparts their first loss of the tournament, eliminating them in the process for the fourth straight year without gold. Russia now face Finland having lost to the same team days ago in a shootout. However the stakes will be bigger as it’s been widely reported that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will be in attendance tomorrow night. Below are both of Russia’s goals.

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