International Ice Hockey Federation

Russia wins in a shootout

Russia wins in a shootout

2-1 loss means Sweden will face Finland in quarters

Published 10.01.2017 22:59 GMT+1 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Russia wins in a shootout
ZLIN, CZECH REPUBLIC - JANUARY 10: Russia's Tatyana Shatalova #15 looks to take a shot under pressure from Sweden's Solveig Neunzert #27 during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women's World Championship. (Photo by Andrea Cardin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Oxana Bratisheva scored the only goal of the penalty-shot shootout, giving Russia a quarter-finals date with the Czech Republic after defeating Sweden, 2-1.

Bratisheva scored on the fourth Russian shot with a nice deke, and Felizia Wikner Zienkiewicz was stopped by Valeria Merkusheva on the final chance for Sweden to secure the win. 

"I thought she was going to shoot," said Sweden's goalie, Sophia Reiderborn, who was sensational again in stopping 39 of 41 shots in the game. "That's why I looked a little off balance. Things happen. It sucks."

With the loss, Sweden will face Finland in the other quarter-finals while Canada and the United States await their semi-finals opponents. The Swedes have managed only two goals in three games while surrendering eleven.

Sweden thought it had scored the winning goal with only 2:45 remianing in the third period off a wrist shot from Sofie Lundin, breaking a scoreless tie. But just 55 seconds later the Russians tied it when Nina Pirogova banged in a loose puck from in close.

"This was a very tough game," admitted Russian forward Polina Bolgareva. "But we worked and worked and managed to score. We were happy."

"The Czechs are a difficult opponent for us," Bolgareva continued. "They have defeated us in the past, but tomorrow we will win. That's my feeling."

Indeed, Bolgareva, in her record-tying fourth WW18, has a long memory. The Czechs beat Russia, 1-0, to claim bronze at the 2014 WW18.

Tonight's three-on-three overtime produced few scoring chances, forcing the shootout. 

Despite the importance of the game the Swedes came out a little flat, and the Russians skated well with the puck to create some good scoring chances. But Reideborn, coming into her own in Zlin, was letter perfect to keep the game scoreless.

The second period featured no fewer than seven penalties, and although there were more good chances as a result, there were no goals. Pernilla Forsgren lost the puck at the Russia blue line, allowing a two-on-one for Russia with Maria Nadezhdina and Bolgareva. Bolgarvea missed the open side on a hard pass across, though.

A short while later Celine Tedenby walked in alone on goal but Merkusheva was there to make a nice save.

Another bobble at the Russian line, this by Maja Nylen Persson, allowed a clean break for Viktoria Kulishova, but she was stopped by Reideborn.

Later in the period, during another power play, the Swedes had two quick chances from Lina Ljungblom and captain Hanna Olsson, but Merkusheva was that much better.

The Sweden-Finland game will take place in Zlin tomorrow night while the Russia-Czech game will be earlier in the day in Prerov. First on the agenda tomorrow, though, is game one of a best-of-three relegation-round series between the Swiss and Japanese.


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