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Victory earns Russians Semi-Final showdown with Canada at World Cup of Hockey


09-23-2016 16:33 BJT

Off to the ice and a do-or-die game for Alexander Ovechkin and Russia at the World Cup of Hockey. The Russians were facing Finland in their final pool game, and needed to win to move on to the knock-out stage. A victory would also be payback of sorts, as the Finns knocked the Big Red Machine out of the last Olympics, which was played on their home-ice in Sochi two years ago.

Ovie on hand for the ceremonial face-off with Finland's Mikko Koivu, the Russians trying to win this event for the first time since 1981, when it was still called the Canada Cup.

No scoring in the opening stanza, so we head to the second, and the Finns cause a turnover in the offensive zone, Michael Granlund gets a "Grade A" chance from the slot, but hits the post.

Now it is the Russians' turn to forecheck, and they also cause a turnover -- Vladimir Tarasenko makes moves, drops to Ovechkin, who passes it back to a wide open Tarasenko. 1-zip big red machine. Lovely bit of stick control, and pass through a maze of sticks.

About a minute and a half later, Ivan Telgin does some good work behind the net to get the puck, and he works a nice give-and-go with Vadim Shipachev, and Telgin, beats Tuukas Rask to the far post. 2-buzz.

Off to the third, and the teams playing 4-on-4, Evgeni Malkin coming in on the left side on a 2-on-1 and he is able to fire it home, his first of the tournament makes it 3-nothing.

Sergei Bobrovsky does the rest -- making 21 saves as the Russians advance to the semi-finals.

They meet Canada next, and the Olympic champs have not lost at the senior level since the 2010 Olympics -- a stretch of 13 games. The other semi sees Sweden play Team Europe, with the winners facing off in a three-game final.

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