It’s quite simple for the Russian national team – Newspaper Kommersant No. 87 (7049) from 05/25/2021

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The first misfire at the World Championship in Riga was made by the Russian team in the third match of the tournament. In it, she lost – 1: 3 – to a very strong Slovak team.

For some time this match suggested that the Russian national team should not have problems with the third consecutive victory. Well, big problems – the young Slovak team is still not as malleable as the British defeated in the previous game. But overall, everything was fine. The Russian national team, with its once again redrawn links (now Mikhail Grigorenko has dropped out due to an injury) still held the puck well, still surpassed the rivals by a head in rigidity and density. And the giant Nikita Zadorov in ten minutes performed so many strength techniques that would be enough for a normal video. Zadorov also had the best Russian chance at the start of the match. After Andrey Kuzmenko’s pass, the defender shot Julius Gudacek almost point-blank, but the Slovak goalkeeper did not work out.

However, soon the complacency of those who are worried about the Russian national team should have disappeared without a trace due to the solid length of the segment that she experienced in the first period. The Slovaks, who had just modestly held on, created several moments in this segment – one better than the other. Created not without the help of opponents, who suddenly loosened their grip on the hot spot right in front of the goal. There, Marian Studenich and Michal Krishtof found themselves in a deadly position. The goalkeeper of the Russian national team Alexander Samonov, not letting them score, raised his not so smart quotes before the championship.

And in the second period, after the game had calmed down, the Slovaks generally came out ahead. The goal was hard-won. The Slovak five have worked very actively in the Russian zone, trying to stay in it. The hockey players of the Russian national team seem to have already gotten out of it, they were preparing to take the puck to the center of the site, but – a little sloppy pass, a little sloppy reception of a pass, and the Slovaks, who awaited good luck, took possession of it. And then there was a great shot by Milos Kelemen.

In such cases, it is important to recoup as quickly as possible, otherwise you risk giving your opponent a huge portion of confidence and calmness. The Russian national team coped with the task perfectly. Immediately after conceding a goal, she received a majority, which at the Riga World Championships is clearly on the short list of her trump cards of serious dignity. She realized this majority thanks to Alexander Barabanov, who substituted a stick for the throw of Sergei Tolchinsky.

Now, on the side of the Russian national team, which got off with a slight fright after the Slovak injection, there was an obvious advantage. And the link of Ivan Morozov drove the slightly still sagging Slovaks to their third of the site for about a minute and a half so cruelly, as if the Russian team had again the opportunity to play too much.

This development of events did not seem to bode well for the Russian national team. However, in the final period it was not easy for her. The Slovaks somehow completely simplified the game, but there was plenty of accuracy and tenacity in it. And it turned out that this style gives the Russian team discomfort: it really doesn’t work out to crush the enemy.

And in the middle of the twenty minutes, Maxim Shalunov faked by fouling on Adam Janosik. The Slovaks again acted uncomplicatedly in the majority, but they did not need tricks – a small ricochet helped after a throw from the blue line of Martin Gernat, who can fire powerfully.

The Russian national team, of course, took off Samonov in the end for the sake of the sixth field player. But the move did not bring success: the Slovaks also scored into an empty net, defeating the team, which, due to the regular catastrophes of other grandees – Canadians, Swedes – began to look like the undisputed favorite of the Latvian championship.

In its next match, the Russian national team will play on Wednesday with the Danes.

Alexey Dospekhov

Group stage

Group A. Second round. Sweden-Belarus 0: 1. Denmark-Switzerland 0: 1. Round three. Slovakia-Russia 3: 1. The position of the teams. 1. Slovakia – 9 points. 2. Russia – 6. 3. Switzerland – 6 (after 2 matches). 4. Denmark – 3 (2). 5. Belarus – 3 (2). 6. Sweden – 0 (2). 7. Czech Republic – 0 (2). 6. Great Britain – 0 (2).

The Czech Republic-Belarus match ended after the issue was signed to print.

Group B. Second round. Kazakhstan-Finland 2: 1 (shootouts). Canada — USA 1: 5. Round three. Latvia — Italy 3: 0. Germany — Canada 3: 1. The position of the teams. 1. Germany – 9 points. 2. Latvia – 7. 3. Kazakhstan – 4 (after 2 matches). 4. Finland – 4 (2). 5. USA – 3 (2). 6. Norway – 3 (2). 7. Canada – 0. 8. Italy – 0.


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