Canada 1 - Russia 2
KAIGORODOV, KOVLACHUK SCORE LATE AS RUSSIA DEFEATS CANADA 2-1
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - Canada was left bloodied, bruised and beaten during its second straight quarter-final exit at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. Alexei Kaigorodov and Ilya Kovalchuk scored 3:12 apart in the third period as Russia sent Canada packing with a comeback 2-1 victory Thursday.
“It's always nice to score the big goals, but the important thing is we're moving forward,'' said Kovlachuk.
The loss was the first in seven tournament games for Canada, which made it a bitter pill for forward Jason Spezza to swallow.
“We had a good team, we played a good tournament and we lose the biggest game of the tournament for us,'' said Spezza. “It's definitely disappointing.''
It was the most entertaining game of the tournament. The Canadians went toe-to-toe with the Russians in a spirited affair that turned on a couple loose defensive plays.
Kaigorodov tied it 1-1 at 9:07 on a short-handed breakaway. He chipped the puck past pinching defenceman Brent Burns and around Spezza before beating Jonathan Bernier. Kovalchuk then picked an opportune time for his first goal of the tournament by parking himself in the high slot and firing an Alexander Radulov pass through Bernier's legs at 12:19.
“Both teams played their hearts out,'' said Canadian team coach Ken Hitchcock. “We made a couple of mistakes and they ended up in our net.''
Spezza had the lone goal for Canada, which was also eliminated in the quarter-finals by Russia a year ago.
“Typical Canada-Russia I think,'' said Andrew Ladd. “It's tough to think about right now.
“Obviously, coming here you wanted to come back with the gold. Not doing that is pretty disheartening.''
The Russians will face Finland in Friday's semifinal.
The tempo of Thursday's game was much higher than anything Canada had seen during its six round-robin wins but its players raised their play to match it. The forecheckers had plenty of success pressuring the Russian defence in the first and Canada carried the play.
Bernier still had to be sharp, denying Vladimir Tarasenko early before getting help from Burns, who broke up a 2-on-1 with Kovalchuk and Radulov.
Canada's best chance came off the stick of leading scorer John Tavares, who rang a shot off the crossbar from the slot, an ominous sign of things to come.
The Russians came out strong in the second but Spezza opened the scoring at 5:32. Alex Pietrangelo found him well up the ice and the centre continued his strong play at this event by beating Konstantin Barulin through the legs for his fourth goal.
Both teams really started digging in and went toe-to-toe with one another. Yevgeni Artyukhin ran Ladd from behind before Marc Methot was cut when a shot rode up his stick and split open his nose. Kovalchuk was also cut during a scrum in front of his goal.
The game was still in Canada's hands with a 1-0 lead heading into the final period, but it was unable to hold off a spirited comeback.
|Game Number||52||Round||Quarter Final|
|Arena||Arena Bratislava||City, Country||Bratislava, SVK|
|Month / Day / Year||05/12/2011||Time||02:15 PM ET|
05:32 CAN 19 Jason Spezza (27 Alex Pietrangelo)
09:07 RUS 55 Kaigorodov Alexei SH
12:19 RUS 71 IIya Kovalchuk (47 Alexander Radulov, 7 Dmitri Kalinin)
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||Total|
For more information:
Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations