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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

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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