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MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. The Russian national ice hockey team defeated the Czech Republic’s squad 3-0 on Thursday marching into the semifinals of the 2017 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship.
In a tight game at a stadium in Paris, the Russians scored two goals in the first period, managed to keep the solid defense in the middle period, and increased advantage late in the closing period scoring another goal - 3-0.
Scoring kicked off in the eighth minute of the first period by Russian defenseman Dmitry Orlov (NHL’s Washington Capitals).
Less than five minutes Russia’s Nikita Kucherov received a flawless assist from his teammate Yevgeny Kuznetsov and, while taking seconds-long pause to dribble the puck, he whipped it into the upper corner of the opponent’s net to notch the score up to 2-0.
"There were definitely some drawbacks," Orlov said after the first period in a blitz TV interview before retreating for the break. "It does not matter which ice we are playing on, we have to keep up the pressure and stay away from the penalty booth."
The 2017 IIHF tournament is held in Germany’s Cologne at its 18,500-seat Lanxess Arena and in the French capital at the Bercy 14,500-seat venue from May 5 through May 21, 2017. Team Russia, seeded in Group A, played all of its previous games in Germany’s Cologne and after losing in the final group stage game to the United States two days ago, finished in the second place of the group and had to travel to France for the quarterfinals.
The Czech team had a much better percentage in terms of attempted goals on the Russian net in the following 20-minute stretch of the game and they had several occasions to score on power-plays, however Russia’s defense was solid to seal the scoreless middle period leaving the score over its long-time rivals Czechs at 2-0.
The third period saw an even play of both teams, but with the timer flashing 13:55 in the closing period, Russia’s Artemi Panarin scored another goal for his team increasing the advantage to 3-0, which remained unchanged until the final buzzer went off.
Boasting an impressive record of 35 scored and 10 missed goals before the knock-out stage, Russia’s ice hockey team, dubbed the ‘Red Machine,’ began this year’s global tournament with an edgy penalty shootout win over Sweden (2-1) to proceed further with confident victories over Italy (10-1), Germany (6-3), Denmark (3-0), Slovakia (6-0), Latvia (5-0) and eventually gave away its play to the United States on Monday 3-5.