Ovechkin leads Russia to 7-5 Win
Alexander Ovechkin’s second hat-trick of the tournament led Russia past Switzerland 7-5 in the last preliminary round game to be played in Sydney. Also scoring for Russia were Igor Grigorenko with two, Kirill Koltsov, and Timofei Shishkanov. Switzerland made a valiant effort in the third period by coming back from 5-3 to tie the game at the 7:13 mark before Ovechkin completed his hat-trick with the winning goal at 10:37. Scoring for Switzerland were Partrik Bartschi and Caryl Neuenschwander with two goals each, and Gregory Christen. Christen chipped in two assists for a three-point outing.
The game was not a clinic for goaltendiers as Swiss netminder Tobias Stephan let in seven goals on 23 shots while counterpart Andrei Medvedev allowed five on 17 shots.
Russia opened the scoring at 10:04 of the first on the power-play after some nice work by Montreal Canadiens draft pick Alexander Perezhogin. Perezhogin made a move around a Swiss defender, then waited for Stephan to go down before sliding the puck back out to Koltsov who buried it into the open net.
The Swiss responded just 38 seconds later when Christen picked up a loose puck to the left of Medvedev and fired a quick shot that trickled over the goal line.
The Russians then regained their lead on a goal that Stephan would undoubtedly like to have back. Grigorenko fired a puck from the corner toward the front of the net that banked of one of Stephan’s pads and into the net.
Switzerland had a glorious opportunity to tie the game when Florian Conz’s wrist shot from the high slot had Medvedev beat to the glove side but it rang off the iron with under a minute to play in the period.
The second period saw Switzerland tie it up on the power play at 5:23 when Gregory Christen found Patrik Bartschi all alone to the side of Medvedev with a nice cross-ice pass.
The tie was short lived as Alexander Ovechkin put the Russians back up just 47 seconds later. Ovechkin made a great effort as he was being hauled down in the slot to get a shot off and past Stephan’s blocker. The lead was increased to two just 54 seconds later when Shishkanov scored his first of the tournament off a one-timer from the side of the net.
Switzerland got within one at the 17 minute mark with goal on a partial breakaway by Caryl Neuenschwander.
It took just 58 seconds for the Russians to get the two goal cushion back when Ovechkin fought off a Swiss defender and took a pass from captain Yuri Trubachev to redirect the puck into the open net.
Switzerland came storming back in the third with a goal at 5:45 on a tip by Patrik Bartschi that fooled Medvedev. They then tied the game just 1:28 later on a power play marker and seemed to have the momentum.
Ovechkin ended the Swiss comeback with his third at 10:37 and Grigorenko then iced the game with his second on the power play five minutes later.
The teams will now transfer to Halifax for the next round. Russia earned a bye with their first place finish in Group A and will play the winner of the Finland-Czech game. Switzerland will face Germany on January 2nd.
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André Brin Director, Communications | Directeur, communications