Grand evening of junior hockey continued in Chelyabinsk, where kicked off U18 IIHF World Championship. Team Russia played their first game at soldout Traktor Arena. Team France was Russia’s first opponent.
Alexander Zybin’s men grabbed the momentum right off the bat and gave France’s goaltender Valentin Duquenne a lot of work to do. Russia converted on their initial powerplay of the night. They set camp in the offensive end, Duquenne stopped the original shot from the blue line but the puck bounced over to Semyon Kizimov who sniped it from a tough angle. Two minutes later home team scored at even strength. Kirill Marchenko skated to the area behind the net and centered it for Ruslan Iskhakov, who one-timed it home. Soon after that Russia scored twice in a row. Yegor Zamula got the puck at the point and sniped it top-shelf with a nice wrister. Right after that Marchenko won the battle for the puck at the boards, beautifully deked around his defenseman and roofed it past Duquenne.
Russia went on to score twice in the 2nd period of play and once again the markers came just 64 seconds apart. First Nikita Okhotyuk gained the zone on an odd-man rush, passed it to Vladislav Mikhailov who beat Duquenne from mid-range. Soon after that Dmitry Zavgorodny found the back of the net. Danila Galenyuk received the puck at the blue line and put it on net. Duquenne gave up a fat rebound of his pad and Zavgorodny buried it to give Russia a 6-0 lead.
At 47-01 Russia scored shorthanded as Anton Malyshev had gotten a minor penalty. Marchenko battled for the puck on the forecheck, stole it and dished it over to Morozov, who put it in from in tight. With less than two minutes remaining on the clock France finally managed to solve Amir Miftakhov. Baptiste Bruche skated down the left wing, sent the biscuit to the far post and Pierrick Dubé easily tapped it home.
Russia cruises to a 7-1 win in the first game of the tournament.
U18 IIHF World Championship. Group B
Russia – France – 7-1 (4-0, 2-0, 1-1)
1-0 – Kizimov (Zhabreyev, Romanov) – 06-06 PPG
2-0 – Iskhakov (Marchenko, Morozov) – 08-09
3-0 – Zamula (Podkolzin, Mikhailov) – 13-28
4-0 – Marchenko (Galenyuk) – 13-52
5-0 – Mikhailov (Okhotyuk, Podkolzin) – 33-01
6-0 – Zavgorodnyi (Galenyuk, Iskhakov) – 34-05
7-0 – Morozov (Marchenko) – 47-01 SHG
7-1 – Dubé (Bruche, Quattrone) – 58-05 PPG
Goaltenders: Miftakhov – Duquenne
Russia’s next game is against Team Czech Republic on April 21st.