The Russian national team lost in percentage – Newspaper Kommersant No. 231 (7193) from 12/20/2021

In the final match of the Channel One Cup, the Russian national hockey team lost to the Finns with a score of 2: 3, conceding the decisive goal in overtime. As a result, she scored the most at the home stage of the Eurotour – seven points, but the Finnish team was declared the winner in terms of the percentage of points scored.

The Russian national team approached the confrontation with Finland with one hundred percent indicators, defeating Canada (4: 3), Sweden (1: 0) and the Czech Republic (5: 2). And the Suomi team did not know defeat at the Channel One Cup, having won both of their meetings – against the Czechs (3: 2 in shootouts) and the Canadians (4: 1). Recall, according to the calendar, all the participants of the Moscow tournament, with the exception of the hosts, played three matches, so that the Finns did not have time to measure their strength with the Swedes, and the Czechs – with the Canadians. Thus, the winner of the second stage of the Eurotour was determined not by the total number of points scored in the two-point system, but by their percentage, and it was in the Russian-Finnish confrontation that everything was decided.

Meanwhile, Finland has once again confirmed its reputation as one of the most uncomfortable opponents for Russian hockey players. In addition, it was striking that they were already pretty exhausted, since they had to go out on the ice for the fourth time in five days. Even the traditional and massive rotation of the roster, to which the coaching staff of Alexei Zhamnov again resorted, did not really help. In particular, the most experienced center-forwards Vadim Shipachev and Artem Anisimov, leading defenders Nikita Nesterov and Yegor Yakovlev are now out of the application.

Not that the owners were in any way inferior to the viscous Finns, but at the same time they could not escape from their tenacious embrace. Plus, against the background of not the best freshness, the implementation of rare scoring chances let down.

So, defender Semyon Chistyakov, who has competently connected to the attack, could well have opened an account after a pass from Pavel Karnaukhov, if he had thrown a little harder for Harry Syateri. Basically, the Siberian goalkeeper did not feel much pressure. Is that only Karnaukhov’s link with Nikita Gusev and Mikhail Grigorenko on the edges at first regularly kept the Finns in suspense. The same Karnaukhov almost completed a subtle combination of his partners from a nickle. And at the end of the first period, Yukka Yalonen’s wards made a goal out of nothing, which are usually called junk goals. Joonas Nyattinen from Severstal, falling, gave the puck under the goal, and Valtteri Merela pushed it into the net. Goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov coped with the first jab, but the defenders gave the Finnish striker a second chance.

Literally a second before the siren for the break, the Russian national team earned a numerical majority, however, problems arose with its implementation already in the opening of the second period. Moreover, soon the hosts themselves got two penalty minutes and were in the balance of the second conceded goal. The famous three from “Salavat Yulaev” Teemu Hartikainen – Sakari Manninen – Markus Granlund clearly played too much, and only Fedotov, who staked out the position of the main goalkeeper of the national team at the First Channel Cup, saved her from trouble.

However, gradually the Russians began to break the game and grind a terribly unpleasant opponent. Gusev was simply given the ideal conditions for a goal for such a match and brought him “one to zero”, but Syateri also kept zero in that episode. And yet, the “Gusevites” achieved their goal already in a positional attack, when defender Artem Minulin finished off the puck after a powerful click from Grigorenko. The end of the second twenty minutes and the beginning of the third took place under the dictation of the tournament hosts. Kirill Marchenko hit the post in this game segment when no Syateri could do anything.

Unfortunately, Alexander Kadeikin left at a very untimely time. His foul could not be called justified at all, and one unnecessary removal broke the already seemingly normal game. Not only did the Finns quickly punish Kadeikin for his lack of discipline through Manninen’s efforts, they also seized the initiative. It is good that Fedotov helped out, although Granlund and Manninen frankly forgave the Russians. And then Vyacheslav Voinov came to the fore. At first, the defender missed a double chance when he tried to shoot Syateri from close range twice in a row. But he managed to score from a distance during the majority draw. The judges, however, at first did not want to count the Voynovsky goal, referring to the obstacle to the goalkeeper from the side of Kirill Marchenko. However, Zhamnov requested a coaching review and forced the referees to change their decision. It is clear that Yalonen did not like it very much, but in fairness it would be a sin to annul such a washer.

Alas, the mistake of the same Voinov led to the fact that the Russian team lost in overtime.

Zhamnov’s wards tried to snatch the victory by removing the goalkeeper and releasing the fourth field player, which is the practice of CSKA coach and one of the coaches of the national team Sergei Fedorov. But Voinov’s throw was blocked, followed by an interception, after which he knocked down Manninen, who was fleeing to the empty net. Even if the puck did not reach the goal, according to the rules, the goal was fixed. The Russians took a risk and missed the Channel One Cup.

Alexander Ilyin



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