SUKHACHEV SOLID TO HELP RUSSIA PAST CANADA EAST
WHITBY, Ont. – Mikhail Maltsev scored twice, Georgii Ivanov had a goal and an assist, and Ilya Avramenko added two helpers to pace the Russian offence in a 6-1 win over Canada East at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge on Monday night.
The win leaves Russia tied with Canada East atop Group A at three points apiece, although the Russians will face Switzerland on Tuesday night (7 p.m. ET) in the preliminary round finale.
Artem Ivanyuzhenkov, Nikolay Kovalenko and Dmitrii Alekseev had the other goals for Russia, while Adam Smith (Sharon, Ont./Newmarket, OJHL) was the lone goal-scorer for Canada East.
Between the pipes, Vladislav Sukhachev was outstanding from start to finish, making key saves, keeping Canada East scoreless on four power plays and even chipping in an assist on the game’s first goal.
Despite outshooting the Russians 33-29, the Canadians were unable to generate much quality offence, seeing shots blocked and passing lanes cut off most of the night.
After a scoreless first period, Russia opened the scoring at the 12:38 mark of the second when Sukhachev’s perfect pass sent Ivanov flying down the wing before he circled the net and tucked a beautiful wrist shot into the top corner.
Russia doubled its lead 90 seconds later after Ivanyuzhenkov finished off a two-on-one with Viacheslav Shevchenko, and Maltsev banged home a rebound with 50 seconds left in the period for a 3-0 lead.
Canada East got a glimmer of hope midway through the third period when Josh Dickinson (Georgetown, Ont./Georgetown, OJHL) won an offensive zone face-off straight to the stick of Smith, who wired a wrist shot from the point through traffic and past Sukhachev.
The Canadians pulled goaltender Nicholas Latinovich (Maple, Ont./Orangeville, OJHL) in favour of an extra skater, but Maltsev scored his second of the game into the empty net with 3:04 to go.
Nikolay Kovalenko added another empty-net goal less than a minute after that, and Alekseev converted on a very late Russian power play to provide the final margin of victory.
Canada East will await the result of Tuesday’s game to find out where it’ll finish, and when and where it’ll open up the medal round later in the week.