Russia came back from a goal down to take the upper hand against Canada (2-1) in the final of the world ice hockey championship in Bern, Switzerland, on Sunday, retaining their world crown for a second consecutive year.
AFP - Russia battled from a goal down to retain their world ice hockey championship title here on Sunday beating 2-1 Canada in the final.
Oleg Saprykin collected a goal and an assist, while goaltender Ilyua Bryzgalov made 37 saves to secure Russia's hard-fought win.
"It was a great game," Saprykin said. "One of the best matches I ever played in my life. We played for our country, for all our supporters and we won. I'm happy and proud."
The rivals came into the final with identical records of 24 world titles each.
Canada took the lead when Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza struck 5:37 into the match with his seventh goal of the tournament, sending the puck into the net from Shane Doan's backhand pass.
But Russia levelled at 12:57 through Saprykin, who redirected in Vitaly Atyshov's slap shot on a powerplay.
In the second, Canada outshot Russia 16-5, but it was Alexander Radulov who scored 14:30 into the period beating Canada's goalie Dwayne Roloson from close range.
Canada contiunued to dominate, pinning the Russians back but to no avail as the reigning champions defended stoutly. In goal, Bryzgalov was in total command and was named the player of the game.
Canada replaced Roloson with the sixth field player with a minute to go in an attempt to pull the scores level, but Russia managed to keep their narrow lead to clinch their second title in a row for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union.
"We are really upset with the result but it was a fair victory for Russia," said defender Shea Weber, who was included in the championship's All Star Team.
"Russia played very well in defence giving us no second chances sweeping away all of the rebounds throughout the game. They were the better team tonight."
Earlier on Sunday, Sweden battled from a goal down to win the bronze medal, beating the United States 4-2.
Los Angeles Kings defender Jack Johnson broke the deadlock 5:14 into the second beating Sweden goaltender Stefan Liv with a powerful slap shot from the blue line on a powerplay.
The Swedes pulled level also on a powerplay at 33:24, when Dallas Stars forward Loui Eriksson fired in from just outside the crease on Tony Martensson's pass from behind the goal line.
Martensson put Sweden 2-1 up with four minutes remaining before the second intermission redirecting Mattias Weinhandl's cross-ice pass into the net when two Americans were in the sin bin.
San Jose Sharks striker Joe Pavelski levelled at 2-2 two minutes into the third period but Sweden blueliner Carl Gunnarsson scored Sweden's third, slapping in through the traffic at 49:00.
America substituted goalie Robert Esche but two minor penalties in the last minute dashed their hopes while Johnny Oduya flipped Sweden's fourth into an empty net with just one second to go.
Date created : 2009-05-11