Russia Heads to Sweden in Search of Gold (Updated)

(courtesy of the Russian Hockey Federation)

It’s come to our attention that we somehow overlooked this years upcoming IIHF Men’s World Championships. With that, let’s take a quick look at the Russian roster and the tournament which officially starts on Friday. Russia arrives in Sweden hoping to capture any kind of silverware as last year they were bounced by eventual champions Finland before losing to the Czech’s in the bronze-medal game.
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Russia Falls to Czechs in Gold Medal Game;Top IIHF World Ranking

Screen shot 2010-05-24 at 12.52.38 AM

(Courtesy of Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)

After winning every game in this years Men’s World Championships, Team Russia could not overcome a lucky yet scrappy Czech Republic team to capture their third consecutive gold medal. Instead the Russians leave Germany with a feeling of disarray and disappointment just like in the 2010 Olympics when they were favored to win it all but were bounced in the quarter-finals.
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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 Eliminate Canada Enroute to Semi-Finals

Screen shot 2010-05-21 at 2.55.41 AM(Courtesy of Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)

On Thursday, Russia got slight revenge on their Canadian rivals for the first time since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics by ending their chance for any medals with a 5-2 win at the Men’s World Championships. Goals from Maxim Afinogenov, Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Fedorv and Pavel Datsyuk would power Russia to their third consecutive semi-final game where they will meet hosts Germany on Saturday.
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Russia Blanks Fins to Set Up Date with Canada

Screen shot 2010-05-19 at 1.00.13 AM(Courtesy of Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Russia earned their 24th consecutive victory against the team that was last to beat them on the World’s stage on Tuesday by shutting out Finland 5-0. With the win the team earns the right to play Canada in the quarter-finals on Thursday in a rematch of the 2010 Olympics and the last two gold medal games at the World’s.
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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 Clinch Group against Belarus;More Firepower coming

Screen shot 2010-05-14 at 1.42.17 PM(Courtesy of Jukka Rautio/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Russia continued their dominance at the Men’s World Championship on Thursday by beating Belarus 3-1 while clinching group A in the process. Goals from Sergei Mozyakin, Alexander Ovechkin, and Artem Anisimov put Russia through to the qualification round where they will face hosts Germany, Denmark, and Finland in the next four days.
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Russia cruises past Kazakstan 4-1

Screen shot 2010-05-12 at 1.33.29 AM(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.
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Russia Announces Roster for World Championships

hockeyrussia

Head Coach Vyacheslav Bykov has announced the 25-man roster that will defend Russia’s crown in Germany starting this Sunday against Slovakia. Unlike the team that traveled to Vancouver before that embarrasing exit at the hands of the hosts this roster features more KHL’ers than NHL’ers 13 to 12. Both Alexander Ovechkin and Semin return to the Worlds’ stage having been absent last year since the Washington Capitals were deep in the playoffs.

Also returning is reigning MVP Ilya Kovalchuk who played on both gold medal teams while being on the Atlanta Thrashers who failed to make the playoffs both years. This time Kovalchuk is a New Jersey Devil until free agency starts and would probably prefer to be playing in the NHL this time of year opposed to with the National team. New faces from the NHL include Artem Aninvsov of the New York Rangers who has only played with the team’s junior squad and Dmitry Kulikov of the Florida Panthers who like Aninvsov has never gotten the call for top team.

Both Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov of the KHL will be reunited with their former Capitals teammates just like in Vancouver and hope to spark some sort of chemistry if Bykov decides to play them together at any time. It will be interesting to see if the mix between the KHL’ers and NHL’ers will be a factor as many claimed it was the reason Russia collapsed against Canada at the Olympics but hopefully this mix plus the bigger ice surface will be the key to the team’s success as they go for the three-peat.

Below is the roster that is headed to Germany. According to the rules, two more names can be added to the list for the second round of the tournament

Goalkeepers:
Alexander Eremenko (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Vasily Koshechkin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Semyon Varlamov (Washington Capitals)

Defencemen:
Konstantin Korneev (CSKA Moscow)
Vitaly Atyushov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Dmitriy Kalinin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Ilya Nikulin (Ak Bars Kazan)
Alexei Emelin (Ak Bars Kazan)
Denis Grebeshkov (Nashville Predators)
Dmitry Kulikov (Florida Panthers)

Forwards:
Maxim Afinogenov (Atlanta Thrashers)
Evgeny Artyukhin (Atlanta Thrashers)
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Alexander Semin (Washington Capitals)
Alexei Tereschenko (Ak Bars Kazan)
Artem Anisimov (New York Rangers)
Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey Devils)
Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Maxim Sushinsky (SKA St. Petersburg)
Sergei Mozyakin (Atlant Mytischi)
Sergei Fedorov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Viktor Kozlov (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
Alexander Frolov (Los Angeles Kings)
Alexander Svitov (Avangard Omsk)

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Russia defeats Sweden in OT 6-5

10115_m15courtesy of CTVOlympics.ca

In Russia’s first game of the qualification/elimination stage of the 2009 IIHF World Championship the team of mostly KHL players defeated Sweden 6-5 in OT. After surrendering the lead with under 2 minutes to go Russia would get the winner from Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Dimitri Kalinin for his second of the game. Ilya Bryzgalov backstopped Russia to the win with 33 saves allowing his team to remain undefeated. Other goals came from Ilya Nikulin and Oleg Saprykin. They take on the US on Saturday.

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