RUSSIA SPREADS OUT OFFENCE, BEATS CZECHS TO STAY PERFECT
JASON LA ROSE
BONNYVILLE, Alta. – Vasily Podkolzin had a goal and an assist, and 10 different players recorded points to help Russia double up the Czech Republic in a 4-2 win Monday afternoon at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.
The Russians gained a small measure of revenge for a loss in the last meeting between the teams, a 4-2 result a year ago that gave the Czechs bronze, their first-ever medal at the tournament.
Both teams struck for early shorthanded goals; Podkolzin beat Czech goaltender Tomas Vomacka under the glove just 2:13 in, before Matej Blumel took advantage of a mishandled puck in the corner to equalize just over three minutes later.
That was it for offence in an evenly-matched first period that saw the Russians hold a narrow 11-10 edge in shots on goal.
Artemii Kniazev gave Russia the lead for good early in the second period, hammering a one-timer past Vomacka off a feed from Podkolzin, and Takhir Mingachev banged in a ricochet off the end boards for the eventual game-winning goal at the six-minute mark.
Jakub Adamek stuffed a rebound past Russian netminder Vsevolod Skotnikov to get the Czechs back within one after 40 minutes despite being outshot 17-4 in the middle frame.
Aleksandr Gordin added insurance for the Russians less than a minute into the third period, dipsy-doodling his way around a defenceman and Vomacka to tuck in the final goal of the game.
Russia, which finished with a 40-20 advantage in shots, will see the ice next Wednesday night when it takes on Canada West (7 p.m. MT), while the Czechs are right back to action Tuesday against the United States (7 p.m. MT).