2016 World Cup of Hockey: Russia vs Team North America Live Blog

Alex Ovechkin #8 of Team Russia celebrates his third-period goal with Andrei Markov #79 and Vladimir Tarasenko #91 while playing Team Sweden during the World Cup of Hockey at the Air Canada Center on September 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada (AFP Photo/Gregory Shamus)

Alex Ovechkin #8 of Team Russia celebrates his third-period goal with Andrei Markov #79 and Vladimir Tarasenko #91 while playing Team Sweden during the World Cup of Hockey at the Air Canada Center on September 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada (AFP Photo/Gregory Shamus)

By Hunter Crowther (@HunterCrowther

Live blog: Team North America vs Russia

Final score: Russia 4 – Team North America 3

This was, without question, the most exciting of the six games played so far. Each team was able to generate dozens of quality scoring chances, and neither looked out of it at any point. Credit to Team North America for a good effort, just short of a spectacular three-goal comeback. Even more credit to Russia for being down after one and breaking the water dam midway through the second frame.

3rd period 

0:00 – Game over. Russia wins 4-3.

0:41 – Dmitry Orlov gets called for a trip. Team North America will have a power play, but Russia can now fire it down the ice without the consequence of icing.

Team North America is buzzing all around the Russian net, but can’t capitalize. Bobrovsky has looked all-world since the Rielly goal.

6:52 – Critical error from Team North America as they get caught with too many men. Russians will play with a 1:47 long power play once Anisimov leaves the box.

8:39 – Artem Anisimov just misses the glass off a bank shot and gets called for delay of game. Team North America gets a 5-on-3 with over eight minutes left.

8:55 – Artemi Panarin takes a tripping penalty. Team North America with the man-advantage.

16:59 – Following an Evgeni Malkin hooking call, forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins bats a mid-air puck into the net. 4-3 Russia.

2nd period

By far the most exciting 20 minutes of the World Cup of Hockey. Russia scores four unanswered and takes the air out of Team North America’s balloon. But Rielly’s goal with two minutes to go gives the kids some life heading into the third frame.

2:04 – Team North American blue liner Morgan Rielly takes a loose puck at the top of the circle and wires it past Bobrovsky, cutting Russia’s lead to 4-2. The crowd pop once the puck hit the netting may have been louder than Matthews’ earlier goal.

4:17 – NHL 17 cover boy Vladimir Tarasenko shoots one past Murray to make it 4-1. Team North America head coach Todd McLellan switches goaltenders, giving John Gibson his first action of the round robin.

6:23 – After Nathan MacKinnon and Andrei Markov take coincidental roughing penalties, Kuznetsov takes the air out of the Air Canada Centre with a snipe to make it 3-1 Russia. Three unanswered goals in the same period. One more and we might see a change in the Team North America net.

Between the whistles, this tweet came out…

9:41 – And just like that, the Russians take the lead following a Nikita Kucherov shot that found its way through Murray’s five-hole. 2-1 Mother Russia.

10:31 – Vladislav Namestnikov ties the game by firing a rebound from an Ivan Telegin shot in the slot. 1-1.

14:37 – McDavid gets a shorthanded breakaway opportunity that is stuffed by Bobrovsky. The entire press box stands on their feet to see it.

16:42 – Team North America kills off the Parayko penalty, but forward Brandon Saad takes a hooking penalty almost immediately after. Russia gets another man-advantage.

18:57 – Russia is able to kill the remainder of the Kuznetsov penalty. After another near-highlight reel goal from McDavid, blue liner Colton Parayko gets a two-minute minor for holding Russian forward Pavel Datsyuk.

1st period

The score is 1-0 Team North America after Matthews opened the scoring. The under-23 squad will have 38 seconds remaining in their power play to start the 2nd period.

1:22 – Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov takes a cross-checking penalty, but Team North America is unable to score before the 1st period clock ran out.

Courtesy of Jeff Veillette: the announcement on Matthews’ goal. Of all the games I’ve covered in the tournament, this is easily the loudest crowd pop I’ve heard.

14:46 – I can’t think of another word to describe what just happened, other than “Wow.” Team North American captain Connor McDavid sets up a two-on-one with linemante Auston Matthews, then feeds him a perfect backhand pass that the 2016 1st overall pick finishes. 1-0 Team North America.

18:24 Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov hooks Team North American defenseman Jacob Trouba, giving the young guns their first power play of the night.

Pre-game notes

6:22 p.m. BREAKING: Less than an hour before puck drop, Team North America confirmed defenseman Aaron Ekblad will miss tonight’s game vs Russia with an upper body injury. Jacob Trouba takes his place on the blue line.

Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start between the pipes for Russia, while Matt Murray gets the nod for Team North America.

Team North America is coming off a dazzling 4-1 victory over Finland Sunday night, becoming the stars of the tournament over night. Apart from outshooting the Finns 43-25, they dominated possession-wise, recording 70 per cent in even strength corsi, according to Hockey Stats.

Russia is one day removed from a 2-1 loss to Sweden early Sunday. Down 2-0 with 33 seconds to go, forward Alex Ovechkin scored from the point, cutting the deficit to one. Then with 8.2 seconds to play, it seemed like the Russian captain tied the game, but video review showed Ovechkin had batted the puck in with his glove, taking away the goal and securing the Swedish victory.

Projected lineups

(via NHL.com)


Alex Ovechkin – Pavel Datsyuk – Nikita Kucherov

Nikolay Kulemin – Evgeni Malkin – Vladimir Tarasenko

Artemi Panarin – Vadim Shipachyov – Evgeny Dadonov

Ivan Telegin – Artem Anisimov – Evgeny Kuznetsov

Dmitry Orlov – Nikita Zaitsev

Andrei Markov – Alexi Emelin

Dmitry Kulikov – Alexey Marchenko

Sergei Bobrovsky

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Andrei Vasilevskiy

Team North America

Jonathan Drouin – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Nathan MacKinnon

Auston Matthews – Connor McDavid – Mark Scheifele

Johnny Gaudreau – Jack Eichel – Dylan Larkin

Vincent Trocheck – Sean Couturier – Brandon Saad

Jacob Trouba – Morgan Rielly

Ryan Murray – Seth Jones

Shayne Gostisbehere – Colton Parayko

Matt Murray

John Gibson

Injured: Aaron Ekblad (upper body)

Scratched: J.T. Miller, Jacob Trouba, Connor Hellebuyck


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