Team Russia kicked off its pursuit of a repeat gold medal at the World Hockey Championships with a rather convincing 6-2 drubbing of team Norway in which they scored early and often.
They wasted no time taking control of the game, jumping out to a 1-0 lead over the Norwegians thanks to a powerplay goal by Vadim Shipachyov just 2:51 into the period. Before fans could even settle back into their seats after celebrating the goal, Artem Anisimov put Russia ahead 2-0 only 19 seconds later (Ilya Kovalchuk drew assists on both goals).
Before the period was over the Russians doubled their lead after Danis Zaripov scored with under five minutes remaining, followed by a Viktor Tikhonov goal that Zaripov assisted on. If the scoreboard after the first period left any doubt as to how dominant Russia was the shot clock certainly did not, favouring Russia by a 15-1 margin.
As little action as Sergei Bobrovsky saw in the first period, he wasn’t tested much more in the second – and that lack of action showed in his play. He faced only five shots in the period, but allowed two goals that cut Russia’s lead in half – and, more importantly, gave the Norwegians some confidence.
The two goals were nearly carbon copies (on the score sheet, at least) with Patrick Thoresen scoring each, Mathis Olimb drawing each of the primary assists and Jonas Holos and Morten Ask getting assists on the first and second goal respectively. But any energy that had built up on the Norwegian bench was quickly deflated as Russia stormed back with two goals of its own.
Maxim Chudinov put Russia up 5-2 with a goal 9:28 into the period (Zaripov drawing another assist, picking up his third point of the game) and was followed six minutes later by an Artemi Panarin goal that made it a 6-2 score – one that held up for the remainder of the game.
The win put the Russians into a tie for first place in Group B with the United States which was victorious over Finland earlier in the day. Next up for Russia is a matchup against Slovenia (who was inactive on the first day of the tournament) on May 3 at 6 a.m. EST.