International Ice Hockey Federation

Russia remains atop Group A

Russia remains atop Group A

Home team steamrolls Latvia 10-2 at Bolshoy

Published 22.04.2013 22:53 GMT+4 | Author Alexander Yakobson
Russia remains atop Group A
SOCHI, RUSSIA - APRIL 22: Russia's Pavel Buchnevich #19 celebrates with teammates after a first period goal against Latvia's Kristaps Nazarovs #29 during preliminary round action at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. (Photo by Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Russia continued its roll through the U18 World Championship preliminary round, defeating Latvia 10-2 on Sunday night at the Bolshoy Arena.

Pavel Buchnevich and Ivan Barbashev each had a goal and an assist, and nine players on Russia recorded at least a point in the victory.

Despite the fact that the match against Latvia is not considered a premier matchup, a lot of spectators came to out in Sochi to support Russian team.

And the home team didn’t disappoint, scoring in bunches. The game provided lots of goals, twelve in all.

“We wanted to score as much as possible to make our fans happy,” said a smiling Buchnevich. “But seriously we did lose concentration a bit but came back strong.”

For the Russian coaching staff, the match was a good opportunity for experiment with the roster. In place of Igor Shestyorkin, head coach Igor Kravchuk put in goalie Ivan Bocharov and mixed up some lines. Valeri Nichushkin still played in first line with Ilya Ivanov and Nikita Shatski, Pavel Buchnevich was transferred to the second line with Vladimir Tkachyov and Ivan Barbashev.

The changes seemed to work, as the offence got hotter as the game went on. After the first break Latvia came within a goal, scoring on a two-man advantage, but that would be the closest they got as Russia rang off seven unanswered goals in response.

“Latvia lost a couple of games with a big difference, so I think the guys underestimated them,” said head coach Igor Kravchuk. “After the score was 3-2 we played better and got a big win.”

Russian scored fast. A minute and a half into the game Ruzal Galeyev won the faceoff and the puck bounced to Artyom Zub and his slapshot was in the net. The second goal was scored on a five-on-three power play six minutes later: Barbashev assisted to Buchnevich who shot the puck in on a one timer. Red light behind net of Kristops Nazarovs made the crowd happy as Russia went up 2:0.

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At the end of period opponents the teams exchanged goals. Firing off a soft shot after a solo run into the Latvian zone, Nikolai Glukhov still had enough on it to force the puck between goaltender Kristaps Nazarovs’ legs.

Latvia responded less than a minute later when Olafs Aploks and Edgars Homjakovs made assist to Haralds Egle who fired from the right faceoff circle cutting the score to 3:1 going into the the first intermission. But that would be Latvia's last goal of the game as Russia took over the scoreboard the rest of the way. 

Russia (3W-0L) will have one more game in the preliminary round, Tuesday night against the Czech Republic. Latvia will be off to the relegation round, to play Slovakia in a best-of-three series with the loser moving down to Division IA. 


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