Russia outperforms Finland in U20 tournament

By Johan Nilsson

Evgeny Malkin and Denis Parshin both had excellent games against Findland as Russia bounced back from yesterday’s defeat by Sweden.

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Finland vs. Russia 2-5
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Goal ScorerAssistAssist
1-0Otto Honkaheimo
1-1Enver Lisin Dmitri Pestunov
1-2Ever LisinDmitri Pestunov
1-3Sergei Salnikov Konstantin Glazachev
1-4Roman Voloshenko Denis Parshin Evgeny Malkin
1-5Konstantin Makarov Dmitry Vorobjev Grigory Panin
2-5Kim Nabb Arsi Piispanen Ville Mäntymaa

Shots:

31 – 43
PIM:12 min – 6 min


What a difference a day can make. Russia did not play a terrible game against Sweden yesterday, but today’s effort against Finland was dramatically better.

Scoreless first period

After a slow start, the Russian U20 team put some pressure on the Finns with a one man advantage four minutes into the period. Defenseman Yakov Rylov was very willing to take the shot, but the Finns and excellent penalty killer Kim Nabb in particular, stood up well. The strong Russian play continued after the power play and Finnish goaltender Joonas Hallikainen was forced to make a spectacular save on a shot by flashy Denis Parshin. A few moments later Hallikainen was tested again, this time by defenseman Andrei Pervyshin, but once again he made a good save.

Evgeni Malkin really stood out in this game and after eight minutes of play he showed his tremendous skills for the first time. He had a great shift, displaying excellent puck handling skills and finishing the play all by himself with a wrister.

After 11:13 Malkin was once again in the center of the attention, but this time not in a good way being called for hooking, as he could not keep up with Lauri Tukonen’s quick moves in the Russian zone. Defenseman Dmitri Vorobjev shined with his determination and smarts, but after a huge hit by Petter Nokelainen the Finns managed to organize their play. Ville Mäntymää had the best scoring chance with a slapper from the blue line, which steady Russian netminder Anton Khudobin saved with his shoulder.

With 30 seconds left on the clock Nokelainen almost got the puck past Khudobin, standing just in front of him as the Russian defensemen were a bit passive.

Two goals by Enver Lisin

A few minutes into the middle period Lauri Tukonen created a good scoring chance all by himself, as he with no difficulty stickhandled around defenseman Pervyshin and released a wrist shot. Exciting minutes followed Tukonen’s opportunity. Big Russian center Grigory Shafigullin managed to miss the target after receiving a good pass in the slot, and being more or less alone with Hallikainen. Seconds later, as the play turned, Nokelainen was inches from scoring the first goal of the game as he hit the post with a powerful slap shot. Nokelainen was unlucky there, but immediately after defenseman Otto Honkaheimo got hold of the puck, broke in from the right and released a wrist shot that Khudobin could not keep.

Honkaheimo’s goal clearly motivated the Russians as they come out skating very hard in the next shift. Finnish defenseman Teemu Laakso, who played a good physical game, had some problems with the speedy Russian forwards and got called for hooking. The Russian power play was good and especially defenseman Vorobjev did a good job standing in front of the Finnish goalie and causing problem for the defensemen. Not surprisingly, moments later Russia scored as Dimitri Pestunov found speedy winger Enver Lisin, who from close range tied the game.

After 11:39 Lisin scored again and once more Pestunov registered the assist. This time Pestunov released a shot from the blue line that Hallikainen left an easy rebound on and Lisin did not hesitate to make us of his mistake.

When the two time goal scorer Lisin was in the penalty box for hooking after 14 minutes of play, Finnish defensemen Juuso Hietanen and Juha Outila shined. Hietanen tested Khudobin in net with a powerful slapper and Outila displayed some excellent hockey sense and passing skills. No goal for Finland though and most thought there would be no more goals, before Sergei Salnikov made it 3-1 after receiving a long pass from Konstantin Glazachev.

Russians dominate third

During the first 10 minutes of the third period, Russia played the best hockey so far in this tournament. Evgeni Malkin, and especially Denis Parshin, pretty much as they pleased with the Finnish defensemen. Both put up impressive solo raids at several occasions, stickhandling through and around Finnish players.

The fourth Russian goal of the game, 4:01 into the period, took the attending fans back to the days of Krutov, Larionov and Makarov. Malkin entered the Finnish zone from the right and with a quick pass he found Parshin in the slot. Taking the shot would have been the normal thing to do, but instead Parshin quickly passed the puck over to the left and Roman Voloshenko could with no trouble put the puck in a more or less open net.

After Konstantin Makarov deflected a shot by Dimitry Vorobjev and made it 5-1, it seemed Russia would run away with the win. However, despite some technical numbers by Denis Parshin there were no more Russian goals scored in this game. Instead the heart and soul of the Finnish team today, Kim Nabb, closed the gap scoring on a wristshot after receiving an excellent pass from Arsi Piispanen.

Enough can’t be said about the speedy and technically skilled Russians. The Finnish defense that looked so steady against the Czech Republic, had big problems controlling the likes of Malkin and Parshin.


Player notes – Finland

D – Teemu Laakso
Laakso wasn’t as creative offensively today, but demonstrated a strong physical game.

D – Juha Outila
Outila looked mainly good on the power play, reading the play well and having strong puck control.

F – Kim Nabb
A very hardworking and physical forward, Nabb delivered some huge hits in this game, scored a nice goal and showed a lot of determination and heart. He played very short shifts throughout the game.

F – Lauri Tukonen
Tukonen was named best Finnish player of the game and was slightly better than linemates Petteri Nokelainen and Jesse Joensuu. He was the only Finnish player the Russian defensemen had problems controlling.


Player notes – Russia

D – Dimitry Vorobjev
Flawless. A defensive giant, but also very valuable offensively and on the power play unit, Vorobjev played the body and was easily the best Russian defenseman.

D – Dmitry Megalinsky
Megalinsky was impressive in his two-way play and made good decisions with the puck

F – Denis Parshin
Parshin was deservingly named best Russian player of the game. He created 5-6 quality scoring chances all by himself as he stick handled smoothly through the Finnish defense. No prospect has so far in the tournament displayed better technical skills and speed than Parshin.

F – Evgeny Malkin Malkin was next to Denis Parshin the best player on the ice today. He showed extremely soft hands and first class technical skills. He also had several dangerous shots on net.

F – Sergei Ogorodnikov
Ogorodnikov was very shifty and creative with the puck. He accelerated well and showed impressive puckhandling.

F – Konstantin Glazachev
Not as fast as most of the Russian forwards, Glazachev delivered several nice passes and stood out blocking shots when Russia already had a 5-1 lead.

F – Enver Lisin
Scored two goals and was a constant scoring threat. Despite probably having the quickest feet of all players in the tournament, it was not his skating, but his way of being in the right place in the right moment that made him stand out.

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