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MINSK, May 10, 3:28 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has started into the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship with a convincing victory as the team creamed the Swiss squad 5:0 in the opening game of the global sport event, which kicked off on Friday in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
The Russian team wasted no time after the opening buzzer and the first goal was put past Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni on the 13th second into the first period by Russian forward Sergei Plotnikov (KHL Lokomotiv Yaroslavl).
"I was straight into the game so I didn't have time to feel nervous,” Plotnikov was quoted on the championship’s official website as saying after the match. “We were all focused on the game and determined not to lose."
By the end of the first period Russia secured its dominance over last year’s world vice champions Switzerland by scoring two more goals. One of them was netted by Alexander Ovechkin (NHL Washington Capitals) and the other by Vadim Shipachyov (KHL SKA St. Petersburg).
The score widened in Russia’s favor in the second period after Nikolai Kulyomin (NHL Toronto Maple Leafs) sent a pass from behind the Swiss net to defender Anton Belov (KHL SKA St. Petersburg), who neatly netted the puck.
The last goal of the match was scored in the third period with less than two minutes remaining before the final buzzer by Russian forward Danis Zaripov (KHL Metallurg Magnitogorsk) to leave the final score standing at 5:0.
Russian goaltender Sergei Bobrovski, who debuted for the Russian squad at the World Championship and made 27 saves during the game, said the team was particularly preparing for that match as it was held during the Victory Day celebrations.
"It's a big day for everyone in Russia and we were aware of that in training," Bobrovski was quoted as saying after the game.
However, Russia’s Head Cocah Oleg Znarok said after the match that the team should not flatter itself with 5:0 victory as it made many mistakes throughout the match.
“We demonstrated strong will and the hunger for the battle. But at the same time there were many downsides. That is why we must not flatter ourselves. We are getting ready for the next game,” Znarok said.
The Russian coach also said he was “very grateful to Russian fans” for their support during the match.
The announced attendance of the Russia vs. Switzerland match at the Minsk Arena, which has a 15,000-seat capacity, was 13,300.
Russia takes to the ice again on Sunday in a match against Finland, while Switzerland has no time to rest and plays tonight against the United States, which on Friday convincingly defeated hosts Belarus 6:1.
Russian fans expect their national squad to put on a new game following the team’s disappointing performance at the last year’s World Championship, when it was knocked out from the quarterfinals after being creamed 3-8 by the United States, and another disappointing performance at this year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The Russian squad failed once more to clear the quarterfinals stage losing on its home soil 1-3 to Finland.
Russia’s most recent titles of world champions were conquered in 2008, 2009 and 2012. The 2008 title was a real treat for Russian hockey fans as it came to the team after a 15-year draught. That title Russia snatched from Canada, which was hosting the World Championship for the first time in its history, with 5-4 victory in overtime.