RUSSIA ROLLS PAST FINNS IN HLINKA GRETZKY OPENER
RED DEER, Alta. – Arseni Gritsyuk scored twice, Vasili Podkolzin added a goal and two assists and Russia romped to a 7-2 win over Finland in the opening game of the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup on Monday afternoon.
Six different players scored goals and 13 recorded points for the Russians, who racked up a ridiculous 60 shots on goal in the win.
It was the Finns who opened the scoring just 53 seconds after the puck dropped thanks to Patrik Puistola, but Nikita Vashchenko got Russia even before the end of the first period.
The goals came early and often in the second, with Gritsyuk netting his second of the game just seven seconds into the middle frame to put the Russians ahead for good.
Daniil Gushchin, Podkolzin and Ilya Mironov – on the power play – also counted in the second period to put Russia in full control after 40 minutes. Ironically, the 19 shots the Russians managed in the period were their lowest single-period total in the game.
Gritsyuk and Oleg Zaitsev would both score man-advantage goals in the third period – sandwiched around an Aarne Intonen marker for the Finns – to provide the final margin of victory.
Russia converted at a 50 percent clip on the power play, scoring three times on six opportunities while taking just a single minor penalty.
The Russians are back in action Tuesday afternoon against the Czech Republic (3 p.m. MT), while the Finns will look to bounce back against the United States (7 p.m. MT).