The IIHF World Championships continued in Quebec City on Friday and Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and defenseman Douglas Murray represented their respective countries, Russia and Sweden, in Semifinal play.
Nabokov channeled perfection in Russia’s 4-0 win, shutting out Team Finland and allowing Russia to advance to the Gold Medal Match. Nabokov made 23 saves and held Finland scoreless in five power play attempts in his fifth-straight win and second-straight shutout.
Sporting his signature Sharks helmet, the Vezina Trophy finalist made numerous highlight-reel saves to backstop an experienced Russian defense. Six minutes into the first, Nabokov denied Teemu Selanne on a wrap around attempt by extending his leg across the goal line and making a pad save on the Finnish right winger. On the ensuing play, Russia converted on a three-on-one attempt to take a 1-0 lead.
In the middle of the second, Nabokov made a kick save while sprawled on his back on a Mikko Koivu shot.
Sergei Fedorov, Danis Zaripov, Alexei Morozov and Maxim Sushinsky scored for Russia. The team will play for their first World Championship since 1993 against Canada on Sunday, May 18 at 9:55 AM (Pacific).
Murray and Team Sweden will play in the Bronze Medal Match after falling to Team Canada, 5-4. The Sharks defenseman started for Sweden and played a physical game, knocking numerous Canadian wingers into the boards, recording a shot on goal and registering 19:36 of ice time.
The Bronze Medal Match between Team Sweden and Team Finland will be Saturday, May 17 at 11:55 AM (Pacific).