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MOSCOW, September 25. /TASS/. The Russian national ice hockey team suffered 3-5 defeat at the hands of reigning Olympic and World Champions Canada in their semifinal match for the title of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto on Saturday.
"Team Canada turned up to be more powerful then we were, while our team should have pushed harder," Vladislav Tretiak, the president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, said after the match in Canada’s Toronto.
"This tournament showed us on the whole what we need working on and where we must gain," Russia’s world legendary goaltender added.
Both teams were cautious in the opening minutes of the period and the Russian team was even granted an advantage to score on the power-play five minutes into the game.
It was Canada’s captain Sidney Crosby to open the score into the 8th minute of the match.
Two minutes later one of the Canadian team’s players was again ordered to the penalty booth and the Russian squad not only failed to score but allowed two strong attacks to be staged on their goal, saved by goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
The Russian team was ordered three times to the penalty booth in the opening period and the hosting team also failed to take an advantage of it.
Both teams retreated for the break before the next round with 1-0 flashing on the scoreboard in favor of Canada, which outshot the opponents on goal attempts with impressive 17-6 record in the 1st round.
Ice was hot in the early minutes of the second period with hosts Canada attacking the Russian goal. Almost in the middle of the period Russia’s Nikita Kucherov unsealed the goal of Carey Price putting the puck into the net to tie the score at 1-1.
Forward Evgeny Kuznetzov scored at less than four minutes remaining in the middle period bringing team Russia to 2-1 advantage over hosts Canada. However, it was over only a minute after, when Brad Marchand was quick to be on the spot following a slight mistake in Russia’s goal zone to tie the score at 2-2, which stayed the same going into the closing period.
The opening minutes of the third period were glorious for Marchand again, who cornered a goal into the Russian net to put the score at 2-3. Finding a ricocheted puck in the Russian goal area Marchand’s teammate Corey Perry never hesitated to score another goal against the Red Machine and boost the score to 4-2.
NHL’s New York Islanders John Tavares cemented his team’s superiority wristing a shot into the left upper corner past almost unbeatable Russian goalie Bobrovsky as the time-board ticked the time bellow the middle of the closing period.
Minutes remaining into the game, Russian Head Coach Oleg Znarok opted for the sixth player in the pitch leaving the open net and, eventually, Russia’s Artemy Panarin scored another goal for his team. The score was altered to 3-5 and stayed solid in favor of hosts Canada with the final buzzer going off in just a few seconds afterwards.
Team Canada will be now playing three-match series against the winner of another semifinal match played between Team Sweden and Team Europe on Sunday.
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey is being held in Toronto between September 17 and October 1. The World Cup of Hockey is an international successor to the previously famous Canada Cup (held between 1976 and 1991). After the international event was inaugurated in 1996, it was staged only once again in 2004.
The World Cup of Hockey was organized by the NHL and therefore it was played according to the league’s rules unlike the annual Ice Hockey World Championships and the quadrennial Winter Olympic hockey tournaments, which are sanctioned by the IIHF and are played according to different rules.
The matches of the World Cup of Hockey are played outside the NHL regular season allowing the league’s best players to compete in the international event unlike the annual World Championships, which usually overlap with NHL’s playoffs.