Oh Those Russians

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    VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 31: Russia's Artyom Galimov #9 and Canada's Noah Dobson #6 battle for the puck during preliminary round action at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Arena on December 31, 2018 in Vancouver, BC Canada. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)

    Pavel Shen scored a highlight-reel goal at 11:00 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie and give Russia victory tonight at Rogers Arena.

    The win means Russia will play Slovakia in Vancouver on Wednesday in one quarter-finals and Canada will play the loser of United States-Finland being played tonight in Victoria.

    Emotions ran high at Rogers Arena tonight, and why wouldn’t they? A New Year’s Eve tilt between the greatest of rivals, Canada and Russia, first place in the group on the line.

    The teams delivered a blockbuster. What it lacked in goals on the scoreboard it more than made up for in animosity, electric atmosphere, hits, theatrics, and great plays. The packed house loved every minute of it.

    Just a typical Canada-Russia game!

    Canada got off to just the start it wanted, but that was about the only bright spot of the first period. Danil Zhuravlyov lost control of the puck near his goal, and Owen Tippett was right there. He made a quick pass back to Cody Glass, and Glass snapped a low shot past Pyotr Kochetkov at 2:20.

    The period changed three minutes later when Morgan Frost took a penalty for a hit from hehind, resulting in a minor and misconduct. The Russians converted on the power play, Vitali Kravtsov making a nice pass from the top of one circle to Grigori Denisenko in the other. Denisemko drilled a one-timer past Michael DiPietro.

    The Russians dominated the rest of the period. They skated and passed with confidence and moved freely around the ice. The Canadians were hesitant and overly cautious, lacking confidence moving up ice. They were lucky the period ended in a 1-1 tie.

    Canada came out with more purpose than in the first, but Russia matched them, creating an up-and-down game that turned physical and then a little nasty. Players chirped and embellished, hit hard and with purpose, and gave the fans plenty to cheer and boo about.

    Kochetkov made the save of the period when Owen Tippett made  agreat backhand pass to captain Maxime Comtois speeding towards the net. Comtois redirected the puck perfectly, but the big goalie got his left pad over to the far post blinkety blink to make the save.

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