Russia Squeaks by Germany into Third Straight Final

Screen shot 2010-05-22 at 8.36.16 PM(Courtesy of Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)

On Saturday, Russia defeated Germany with a score of 2-1 for the right to defend their gold medal against the Czech Republic tomorrow night. Pavel Datsyuk scored for the Russians with 1:50 remaining in the game on a breakaway to eliminate both the Germans and any hope they had for overtime or a possible shootout. Vasili Koshechkin made 26 saves in his third appearance of the tournament but will hand over the reigns to Semyon Varlamov in the gold medal game.
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Russia Stays Perfect Through the Weekend

Screen shot 2010-05-17 at 2.01.20 AM(Courtesy of Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Russia continue to cruise towards their third straight gold medal at the Men’s World Championship after posting back-to-back wins over the weekend in the qualifying round. On Saturday, Russia played their arguably most difficult game against hosts Germany in front of a crowd of 18,000, captain Ilya Kovalchuk opened up the scoring with a wrist shot 14:20 into the period. Despite having the early lead the Russians were outshout 13-12 forcing Semyon Varlamov to stop more than half of the shots he faced against Belarus on Thursday.
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Russia Tops Slovakia in opening game of World Championship;Datsyuk on the way

(Courtesy of Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)

On Sunday, Russia opened up their title defense against Slovakia with a 3-1 win in Cologne. Goals by Alexander Ovechkin, Maxim Afinogenov, and Viktor Kozlov were all the team would need to hold off a usually competitive opponent in the Slovaks. Goaltender Vasili Koshechkin turned away 32 of the 33 shots including 13 in the third period with his team being outshot 14 to 3. Playing on Lada Togliatti in the KHL this is Kosheckin’s first start for the National team since 2007.
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