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game recap

Canada routs Russia 7-3 to make Olympic semifinals

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Canada routs Russia 7-3 to make Olympic semifinals
Canada 7, Russia 3
VANCOUVER -- The electric atmosphere inside Canada Hockey Place before Russia and Canada even took to the ice was supposed to be a precursor to the dream game in these Olympics.

We were all anticipating heart pounding, pulsating moments. Paramedics across Canada were on call. Emergency switchboards were expected to light up.

But Team Canada had other plans. The hosts of this tournament made it known relatively early in Wednesday's quarterfinal round matchup against the Russians that nobody in the Great White North ought to worry. Canada jumped out to a three-goal lead after a dominant first period and just kept coming before finally, and mercifully, it finished stomping all over Russia and its IIHF No. 1 world ranking. The game ended 7-3 in favor of the Canadians, who beat the Russians in the Olympics for the first time since an 8-5 victory in Squaw Valley 50 years ago.

Canada will play Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET against the winner of Wednesday's late matchup between Sweden and Slovakia. The winner advances to Sunday's gold medal game.

"We were obviously prepared for a tough, tough game. We were mentally ready," Canada captain Scott Niedermayer told NHL.com. "I think the big thing was we did get those turnovers early and we made them pay. Sometimes if you get those turnovers and you don't score you can get down, but we were able to turn them into some goals."

The sidebar matchup in this highly anticipated rivalry game never materialized as neither Sidney Crosby nor Alex Ovechkin played a big role. In fact, there were 10 goals scored and neither No. 87 nor No. 8 factored into any of them.

Ovechkin's problems were due to the new line Canada coach Mike Babcock put together.

Babcock used Jonathan Toews between Mike Richards and Rick Nash to shut down Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin. Scott Niedermayer and Shea Weber filled out Canada's five-man unit, which made Russia's top line look ordinary.

To make matters even worse for the Russians, Nash and Weber each scored goals when Ovechkin, Malkin and Semin were on the ice.

"That's the stuff you dream about as a kid, playing in those big situations against the best players in the world," Weber told NHL.com. "It's not an easy task by any means, but I thought we did a good job as a team."

Canada owned the first period and headed into the intermission with a 4-1 lead and a 21-12 advantage in shots. It was actually amazing that Russia goalie Evgeni Nabokov didn't get pulled after giving up three goals, and then he went ahead and gave up a fourth, too.

"How we start the game; it's like small kids and big kids play against each other and big kids dominate," Ovechkin told NHL.com. "They got the puck deep, used their power and they scored goals."

Finally, 4:07 into the second period, after Canada scored its sixth goal and second in 57 seconds, Russia coach Vyacheslav Bykov pointed at Ilya Bryzgalov and told him to go stop the bleeding. Canada needed less than six minutes to beat him, too.

Nabokov was credited with 17 saves.

"You wouldn't expect a start like that, but that's the way we wanted to come out, just flying," Nash told NHL.com. "We finally started to bury our good chances. That was the difference."

Bryzgalov, who many thought was Russia's best option in net anyway, settled into a groove and was able to keep the Canadian scoring machine down. But the damage had already been done. The last 20 minutes were a mere formality.

"It just shows the character of the team," defenseman Dan Boyle told NHL.com. "Obviously, we didn't have a great start to the tournament, but we showed up (Tuesday) night (in an 8-2 win over Germany) and we showed up tonight and we had a big first period. It's a credit to the players we have and the team we have."

Boyle, who Babcock said "was doing a little too much thinking" in Sunday's 5-3 loss to Team USA, got Canada going with a goal and two assists in the first period. He had a great end-to-end rush to set up Ryan Getzlaf's goal just 2:21 into the game and close to 10 minutes later his power-play wrister from the top of the left circle went through Nabokov's legs for a 2-0 lead.

"I welcomed him tonight back after the game so it was good to see," Babcock said. "Who knows why that happens to a guy? You get into a different situation and you're not comfortable enough. I think he'll be back now and playing.

"I just know when you're Boyler's size (5-11, 192 pounds), you can't be out there and be a stay-at-home, checking defenseman," Babcock continued. "He plays on instincts, and I thought he was good for our group tonight. Our back end was way more mobile than it has been all tournament, and it really helped us out."

Nash dashed Nabokov and the Russian D to make it 3-0 just 46 seconds after Boyle scored. The building was so loud they probably could hear the roar up in Whistler.

"We knew there was going to be a huge crowd with huge excitement, and we didn't want to let it get to us in a negative way," Nash said. "We tried to have fun with it, and I think it worked."

Russia struck back when Dmitri Kalinin's harmless-looking shot from the point found its way through traffic and past Roberto Luongo (25 saves) with 5:21 left in the first, but Brenden Morrow struck with a backhanded wraparound -- a shot Nabokov should have stopped -- less than four minutes later.

Corey Perry and Weber scored within less than a minute of each other early in the second period to chase Nabokov and give Canada a 6-1 lead. Maxim Afinogenov scored 39 seconds after Weber, but Perry converted on a 3-on-2 at 9:51 and it was 7-2. Sergei Gonchar's power-play goal at 11:40 turned out to be the game's last score.

"The last couple of games, facing elimination, we were using adrenalin," Canada's Jarome Iginla said. "We were able to channel that energy and use it. It feels good. It's a huge game, but it doesn't feel like the gold medal game. There's still work to be done."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com



GAME SUMMARY

SCORING
CAN 4 3 0 - 7
RUS 1 2 0 - 3

First Period

1. CAN, Getzlaf (Boyle, Pronger) 2:21
2. CAN, Boyle (Heatley, Marleau) 12:09 (PPG)
3. CAN, Nash (Toews, Richards) 12:55
4. RUS, Kalinin (Volchenkov, Fedorov) 14:39
5. CAN, Morrow (Boyle, Keith) 18:18

Penalties - Seabrook CAN (interference) 7:58, Volchenkov RUS (holding) 10:26.


Second Period

6. CAN, Perry (Getzlaf, Keith) 3:10
7. CAN, Weber (Toews, Iginla) 4:07
8. RUS, Afinogenov (Kovalchuk, Grebeshkov) 4:46
9. CAN, Perry (Staal, Getzlaf)
10. RUS, Gonchar (Malkin) 11:40 (PPG)

Penalties - Bench CAN (too many men) 11:27, Korneev RUS (interference) 12:58, Keith CAN (tripping) 19:14.


Third Period

No scoring

Penalties - Gonchar RUS (hooking) 2:01, Bench RUS (too many men) 5:11, Pronger CAN (holding) 14:37, Semin RUS (high-sticking) 17:17, Boyle CAN (interference) 17:17.


SHOTS ON GOAL
CAN 21 9 9 - 42
RUS 12 8 8 - 28

Goaltenders (goals-shots against) - CAN: Luongo (W, 3-28); RUS: Nabokov (L, 6-23), Bryzgalov (1-19).

Power plays
(goals-chances) - CAN: 1-4; RUS: 1-3.







Canada
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
22 J. Benn DAL 6'2" 210 7/18/1989 Victoria, BC
37 P. Bergeron BOS 6'2" 194 7/24/1985 Ancienne-Lorette, QC
77 J. Carter LAK 6'4" 212 1/1/1985 London, ON
87 S. Crosby PIT 5'11" 200 8/7/1987 Cole Harbour, NS
9 M. Duchene COL 5'11" 200 1/16/1991 Haliburton, ON
15 R. Getzlaf ANA 6'4" 221 5/1/1985 Regina, SK
14 C. Kunitz PIT 6'0" 195 9/16/1979 Regina, SK
12 P. Marleau SJS 6'2" 220 9/15/1979 Aneroid, SK
61 R. Nash NYR 6'4" 213 6/16/1984 Brampton, ON
24 C. Perry ANA 6'3" 212 5/16/1985 Peterborough, ON
10 P. Sharp CHI 6'1" 199 12/27/1981 Winnipeg, MB
26 M. St. Louis TBL 5'8" 180 6/18/1975 Laval, QC
20 J. Tavares NYI 6'1" 205 9/20/1990 Mississauga, ON
16 J. Toews CHI 6'2" 208 4/29/1988 Winnipeg, MB
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
19 J. Bouwmeester STL 6'4" 212 9/27/1983 Edmonton, AB
8 D. Doughty LAK 6'1" 213 12/8/1989 London, ON
5 D. Hamhuis VAN 6'1" 209 12/13/1982 Smithers, BC
2 D. Keith CHI 6'1" 200 7/16/1983 Winnpeg, MB
27 A. Pietrangelo STL 6'3" 201 1/18/1990 King City, ON
76 P. Subban MTL 6'0" 217 5/13/1989 Toronto, ON
44 M. Vlasic SJS 6'1" 205 5/30/1987 Montreal, QC
6 S. Weber NSH 6'4" 233 8/14/1985 Sicamous, BC
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
1 R. Luongo VAN 6'3" 217 4/4/1979 Montreal, QC
31 C. Price MTL 6'3" 212 8/16/1987 Anahim Lake, BC
41 M. Smith PHX 6'4" 215 3/22/1982 Kingston, ON
Russia
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
42 A. Anisimov CBJ 6'4" 198 5/24/1988 Yaroslavl, RUS
13 P. Datsyuk DET 5'11" 198 7/20/1978 Sverdlovsk, RUS
71 I. Kovalchuk 6'3" 230 4/15/1983 Tver, RUS
41 N. Kulemin TOR 6'1" 225 7/14/1986 Magnitogorsk, RUS
11 E. Malkin PIT 6'3" 195 7/31/1986 Magnitogorsk, RUS
43 V. Nichushkin DAL 6'4" 205 3/4/1995 Chelyabinsk, RUS
8 A. Ovechkin WSH 6'3" 230 9/17/1985 Moscow, RUS
24 A. Popov 5'10" 181 8/31/1980 Angarsk, RUS
47 A. Radulov 6'1" 200 7/5/1986 Nizhny Tagil, RUS
28 A. Semin CAR 6'2" 209 3/3/1984 Krasnojarsk, RUS
15 A. Svitov 6'4" 234 11/3/1982 Omsk, RUS
91 V. Tarasenko STL 6'0" 219 12/13/1991 Yaroslavl, RUS
27 A. Tereschenko 5'11" 176 12/16/1980 Moznajsk, RUS
10 V. Tikhonov 6'2" 189 5/12/1988 Riga, LAT
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
77 A. Belov EDM 6'4" 218 7/29/1986 Ryazan, RUS
26 S. Voynov LAK 6'0" 194 1/15/1990 Chelyabinsk, RUS
74 A. Emelin MTL 6'2" 224" 4/25/1986 Togliatti, RUS
79 A. Markov MTL 6'0" 201 12/20/1978 Voskresensk, RUS
82 Y. Medvedev 6'3" 198 8/27/1982 Chelyabinsk, RUS
6 N. Nikitin CBJ 6'4" 223 6/16/1986 Omsk, RUS
5 I. Nikulin 6'3" 216 3/12/192 Moscow, RUS
51 F. Tyutin CBJ 6'2" 212 7/19/1983 Izhevsk, RUS
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
72 S. Bobrovsky CBJ 6'2" 182 9/20/1988 Novokuznetsk, RUS
1 S. Varlamov COL 6'2" 209 4/27/1988 Samara, RUS
30 A. Eremenko 5'10" 165 4/10/1980 Moscow, RUS