Well…uhh…hmm…you can’t spell “slaughter” without “laughter”, yanawhamean?
In the words of the wise Brian Lee, “the scoreboard really doesn’t tell the whole story“.
The Air Canada Centre played host to a bonafide massacre this Sunday, as a monstrous Team Russia absolutely railed a defenseless Swiss side, lighting up the Eisgenossen like a Christmas tree to the merry tune of seven goals. A different Russian stick found twine each tally, contributing to the rout and sparking a chippy contest that culminated in a shutout for Russia’s Igor Shestyorkin and a trip to the hospital for Switzerland’s Phil Baltisberger.
Looking at the stats sheet, the numbers appear to be skewed; the Shots On Goal totals reveal a nine shot Swiss advantage, only posting a negative figure in the final frame. They played relatively clean (I’m throwing that term around pretty loosely here), posting 22 PIMs in comparison to Russia’s 41, and won 52.63% of their faceoffs. Unfortunately for them, it all came undone quite spectacularly in their own end; although they surrendered 23 shots to their 32 attempts at goal, the defensive corps was largely ineffective at stopping the high-flying Russian attack. Highlighting this shortfall, look no further than New York Rangers‘ prospect Pavel Buchnevich’s wonderstrike, a sublime effort that involved a loose puck, a slippery toe drag and an absolute snipe that ripped top-shelf past netminder Gauthier Descloux.
As much as I’d love to pull a Ray Hudson and describe every goal in elaborately minute detail, I’d also rather like to avoid writing a hulking piece comparable to Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment; thus, here’s a nifty neat-o recap, written in bulletpointed TECHNICOLOR:
- Calgary Flames‘ 2013 seventh-rounder Rushan Rafikov opened the scoring on the power play, dropping a bomb from the point for his first of the tournament. Anatoli Golyshev and Pavel Buchnevich received credit for the assists.
- Firing a wrister from the right face-off circle, Alexander Dergachyov’s effort nicked Descloux’s blocker en route to the back of the net. Alexander Bryntsev notched the lone helper on the play.
- Lightning in a bottle from Buchnevich, brought up to charge by Ivan Barbashyov and the rearguard Rafikov.
- Starting a two-goal Russian second period, shootout hero Sergei Tolchinski finished a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play, popping the puck in from just outside the right hashmarks. Nikolay Goldobin delivered the crucial feed, with Vladislav Kamenev forcing the initial turnover in the Swiss defensive zone.
- Alexander Sharov would end the netminder Descloux’s night, evading one defender at the blue-line before firing home glove-side high. Gaining the sole assist on the four-on-four marker, Maxim Mamin amassed his second point in as many games.
- Vladislav Kamenev ensured that reliever Ludovic Waeber’s night wouldn’t go much smoother, pouncing on a funny bounce and slotting home an unassisted goal from just outside the crease.
- The umpteenth coup de grace came at the hands of a wide-open Vyascheslav Leshenko, who mercilessly pounded a one-time shot past a stranded Waeber. Barbashyov and Buchnevich would once again find their way into the score line, recording the primary and secondary assists, respectively.
Regarding the aforementioned chippiness, the contest was characterized by thunderous hits and extracurricular scuffles. Treated to an immensely physical first period, the elated spectators-15,125 strong (the largest recorded thus far at this year’s tournament)-were brought down to Earth following a thunderous check on Swiss defenseman Phil Baltisberger. Skating into the offensive zone, the record-setting veteran of four World Junior Championships was plastered by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg’s Anatoli Golyshev; blasted in open-ice, the Swiss skater remained face-down, eventually being stretchered off with an undisclosed injury, presumably an ailing neck. Perpetrating the collision, Golyshev received a major penalty and a game misconduct, forced to leave the game as a result; per IIHF standards, the Russian forward must serve a minimum one-game suspension, in addition to attending an in-person hearing with the tournament’s Disciplinary Committee.
The Red Machine boots-up again on the 29th, squaring off against the Group B leading Swedish contingent. In the meantime, here are the highlights from today’s game. Enjoy, you filthy animals.