RUSSIA SKATES THROUGH TO U17 SEMIS WITH ROMP OVER CZECHS
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Alexey Lipanov and Yaroslav Alekseev each scored a pair of goals and Andrei Svechnikov picked up two assists for Russia as it rolled to a 6-1 win over the Czech Republic in quarter-final action Thursday at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Russians will head back to Fort. St. John to face Canada Red in the first semifinal on Friday night (6 p.m. MT). The Canadians had the edge in the preliminary round meeting, winning 4-3 in overtime.
The Czechs seemed to be a step behind from the first drop of the puck, they continued to struggle with the man advantage and had their share of bad luck, with two goals waved off.
Lipanov netted the Russians’ first goal at 6:43, picking up a loose puck in the middle of the ice before beating Czech netminder Jakub Skarek with an unassisted effort.
The Czechs replied three minutes later when Filip Zadina set up Martin Necas for a one-timer that beat Russian goaltender Maxim Zhukov, but Alekseev, off a feed from Svechnikov, restored the Russians’ lead a mere 14 seconds later.
Both teams had their chances in a first period that included 19 shots on goal – 11-8 in favour of the Czechs.
A close-checking second period included just a single goal, off the stick of Lipanov; the Russian carried the puck up the left side before snapping a wrist shot past Skarek to double the lead.
Dmitri Samorukov got a lucky bounce when his shot hit the glass behind Skarek before bouncing off the Czech goaltender and in, pushing the advantage to 4-1 just 5:49 into the third period.
The Russians added two more in the final minutes; Ivan Chekhovich had a tap-in at the side of the Czech net after Skarek stopped Aleksander Alexeev, and Alekseev buried a Svechnikov rebound just 35 seconds after that to provide the final margin of victory.
Russia finished with a 33-26 advantage in shots on goal.
The loss, coupled with losses by the United States and Finland, means the Czechs will play for seventh place on Friday afternoon; they’ll be back on the ice in Dawson Creek to take on Canada Black (2:30 p.m. MT).