Team Russia entered their final game in group play against Finland with a simple goal. Win. A loss would have seen the North American young guns leap frog them and fce the hosts. Instead, it was a determined group effort to steamroll past a Finnish team that has been a nightmare for the Russian hockey program in recent years. After a scoreless first period, Russia would breakthrough with some slick passing by captain Alex Ovechkin to a wide open Vladimir Tarasenko for the 1-0 lead. It would be the Blues forwards second goal in as many games.
Less than two minutes later, Ivan Telegin doubled Sbornya’s lead with a nifty individual effort against a horrid Finnish defense. Evgeni Malkin would open his scoring acocunt with a twisted wrister to put the game to bed. Despite usually showing up against their eastern neighbors, Finland showed little fight and allowed Russia the time and space it needed to get a solid team victory. Sergei Bobrovsky earned a 21 save shutout.
Despite being picked by many to not advance to the next round, Russia will now face Canada on Saturday night in what should be an exhilarating match-up.