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Russia Squeezes Past Slovakia in Hockey Shootout

Published: February 17, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • Russia is searching for its first Olympic hockey title since the fall of the Soviet Union.
    Photo: Gregory Sokolov / RIA Novosti

Russia's Ilya Kovalchuk overcame injury to score the winning goal in a shootout to squeeze his disjointed team past Slovakia 1-0 in the Olympic hockey tournament.

Russia finishes second in Group A behind the United States, who pounded Slovenia 5-1 on Sunday, and will have to play an extra playoff round before the quarterfinals, barring a vast blowout either way in Canada-Finland later in the day.

Related: SKA Forward Kovalchuk Listed on Sochi Hockey Roster

The match continued a string of underwhelming showings by the host hockey team, with Russian President Vladimir Putin looking on for the second game running. Russia's narrow win over Slovakia followed a 3-2 shootout loss to the U.S. on Saturday and, before that, a 5-2 win over outsider Slovenia that was also harder than expected.

The Slovakians, once tipped as a dark horse for a medal, ends the preliminaries with three defeats.

The Russians outshot Slovakia 31-24 in regulation and enjoyed five power-plays, but were denied by some strong Slovak penalty-killing and lights-out goaltending by Jan Laco.

The Russian offense was briefly hobbled when Kovalchuk required treatment in the locker room for an apparent knee injury, but the ex-New Jersey Devils man returned to the ice early in the third.

The closest Russia came to scoring was when defenseman Evgeny Medvedev’s shot bounced off the crossbar and post at the start of the third period. Officials ruled no goal on video replay.

Overtime saw more heroics from Laco, who stopped five more shots, and some desperate Slovak defensive play as the Central Europeans ran down the clock.

In the shootout, Slovakia missed both its shots and Russia secured the win as Alexander Radulov and Kovalchuk both beat Laco.

Russia is searching for its first Olympic hockey title since the fall of the Soviet Union.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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