International Ice Hockey Federation

Russia dominates once again

Big Red offence too much for Slovakia

Published 13.05.2017 19:13 GMT+2 | Author John Sanful
Russia dominates once again
COLOGNE, GERMANY - MAY 13: Russia's Ivan Telegin #7 celebrates with teammates after scoring a second period goal against Slovakia's Julius Hudacek #33 during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Paced by Yevgeni Dadonov's two goals, Russia racked up its fifth straight win.

Five games in the 2017 World Championships, Russia shows no sign of letting up. They have won all five of their games and have done so in dominating fashion. Except for their 2-1 opening night shootout win over Sweden, Russia has won its next four games by no less than three goals.

Tonight, at LANXESS arena, Russia continued to dominate with a 6-0 win over Slovakia. Three first period goals provided the cushion Russia needed. With 14 points, Russia sits atop Group A.

"It was important to score early on, after that we stuck to our gameplan and kept on scoring." Alexander Barabanov commented on the game.

Slovakia has been a bit of a mystery in this tournament. Without NHL player participation, they’ve been left to rely on players exclusively plying their trade in Europe.

Moreover, Slovakia has now lost its last four games. Coming into this contest, they have been stingy on defence, giving up 12 goals. But their Achilles heel has been scoring, entering tonight with nine markers. Michel Miklik has led the way with three of those goals, but it has not been enough.

Yevgeni Dadonov, who notched two goals on the afternoon, dented the twines at 1:12 of the first period with an equal strength score. Vadim Shipachyov received a pass and found Dadonov for a clear shot that he popped past Julius Hudacek. Nikita Gusev picked up the secondary assist.

Dadonov added another 12:20 later. Gusev sent a pass in front that Dadonov wasted no time in executing to perfection. Shipachyov also got an assist.

With two goals scored, Dadonov, Shipachyov and Gusev each has two points apiece in the game.

Andrei Mironov rounded out first period scoring with an unassisted goal with forty-one seconds remaining in the frame. 

Slovakia’s Mario Bliznak and Marcel Hascak has chances when Ivan Telegin was in the penalty box. Three of Slovakia’s goals in the tournament have come on the power play but today they came up empty. Of course, Andrei Vasilevski had something to do with Slovakia staying off the board as he has now registered back-to-back shutouts.

"It was a really tough game but we also showed some strength." Vladimir Dravecky said. "We had a couple of chances but their goalie was unreal today, he pulled off some big saves. If we'd scored a couple goals today we might have had a different result."

Vasilevski has established himself as Russia's number one goaltender.

"The defence did well to help Vasilevski to another shut-out, basically everyone did well." Barabanov said of his netminder.

Nikita Kucherov extended the lead to 4-0 at 2:53 of the second period. Representing the senior national team for the first time at the World Cup of Hockey last fall and now in his first World Championships, Kucherov is someone who has earned a place and opened eyes here in Germany. 

Ivan Telegin scored at 12:50 of the second period and then in the third Vladislav Gavrikov contributed to the cause making it 6-0. 

For Telegin and Gavrikov it was their first goals of the tournament. Gavrikov's goal was the final blow as the Russians capitalized on poor defensive play by the Slovaks in their zone. 

Russia now prepares for two crucial games. First, a Monday contest against an improved Latvia and on Tuesday against a formidible Team USA.

"Slovakia's a good team, they played hard but we were strong enough to overcome it." Gavrikov said. "Two shut-outs in a row is all down to Vasilevski, he saves us and we feel confident with him in net. We're expecting the games to get tougher now, you could see how Latvia played this morning and the USA is always a hard opponent."