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Russia yields to Finland 3-4 in penalty shootout at 2021 Ice Hockey U18 World Championship

The main time of the match and the following overtime period ended with 3-3 draw, but it was Finland eventually to ink the win in the following shootout duel

MOSCOW, April 28 - The Russian men's national under-18 ice hockey team suffered 3-4 defeat to the national squad of Finland after the penalty shootout in their group stage encounter of the 2021 IIHF (the International Ice Hockey Federation) Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. /TASS/.

The main time of the match and the following overtime period ended with 3-3 draw, but it was Finland eventually to ink the win in the following shootout duel.

The Russian team was in 3-1 lead until the closing minutes of the final period, but eventually missed two shots from their opponents with the game going into the overtime, which also ended with 3-3 draw.

"Their goalie [Russian goaltender Sergei Ivanov] played well, but he can't stop all the shots, and if we shoot enough, we're going to score enough goals to win the game," the tournament’s official website quoted Finland’s defenseman Tomi Leppanen as saying after the match.

The Russian side’s goals were scored in the main time of the match by Fyodor Svechkov (10th and 38th minutes) and Nikita Chibrikov (25th minute), while their opponents’ goals were netted by Samu Salminen (22nd minute), Ville Koivunen (58th minute) and Samu Tuomaala (59th minute).

Yesterday, the Russian team showed a wild game in their opening match of the championship defeating the event’s hosts, the United States, 7-6 in the overtime period. The Russians trailed behind the US squad 1-5 in the second period of the match and then made a frantic comeback to eliminate the deficit in the score and to send the game into the overtime.

Speaking after today’s defeat to Finland, Russian Head Coach Albert Leshyov said: "We had our second game in less than 24 hours and I guess we gave too many emotions yesterday."

"There was a little bit of a lack of emotions tonight, but anyways, our guys did a great job," Leshyov stated. "They were battling hard and it was a good game for them."

The Russian team is now scheduled to take on the national ice hockey squad from Germany on April 29.

The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship is being hosted by the US cities of Frisco and Plano, Texas, between April 26 and May 6. Given the preventive measures to fight the spread of COVID-19, all players and staff of the national teams live in so-called bubbles and the audience attendance during the matches is limited to 40-percent of stadium capacity.

Ten participating national ice hockey teams were divided into two groups, with the event’s host, the United States, playing in Group B alongside the teams from Russia, the Czech Republic, Finland and Germany. Group A includes the national squads from Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Latvia and Belarus.

The 2021 Ice Hockey U18 World Championship is the 23rd tournament event of its kind that has been organized annually since 1999 for players of top national teams under the age of 18. The 2020 championship, which was scheduled to be hosted by the US cities of Plymouth and Ann Arbor, Michigan, was cancelled due to the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Russian U18 ice hockey team is ranked third in terms of winning medals at the championships, having taken home three gold, five silver and three bronze medals. They follow the national teams of Finland (four gold, three silver and four bronze medals) and the United States. The US team tops the medals standings of the U18 ice hockey championships with 10 gold, four silver and three bronze medals.

At the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, Russia took the silver losing to the event’s host, Sweden 3-4 in overtime of the final match in Ornskoldsvik.