From IIHF News@1:266/404 to All on Wed Feb 21 10:43:36 2018
The Russians have been dominant lately at the Olympic tournament and Wednesday was no different against Norway.
The Olympic Athletes from Russia put the lights out on overmatched Norway in the first period, and later completely cut the power with a smooth 6-1 win in Wednesday's second quarter-final at Gangneung Hockey Centre.
Nikita Gusev contributed the game winning goal and had two assists, while Vasili Koshechkin stopped 13 of 14 shots sent his way.
It will be Team OAR and the Czech Republic in a semi-final.
The Russians arrived to the first period on-time with their skill and ingenuity
But it was a random bounce that led to their first goal.
The helpful Ilya Kablukov whipped a dump-in attempt off a cringing linesman, dropping the puck in Mikhail Grigorenko's lap. He launched a score upstairs at 8:54 of the first period.
Grigorenko said there was intent behind his team's quick start, "We prepared seriously for this game. In the locker room before the game you could feel that
everyone was pumped for it, ready for a tough game."
At 13:25 of the first, with the Russians on a power play, Nikita Gusev spotted an open net and forced a sharp angle shot behind Lars Haugen to make it 2-0.
Then, with 40 seconds left in the first period, Vyacheslav Voinov snapped one in to continue the onslaught.
The Russians owned the shot clock 19-2 after the first 20 minutes.
Alexander Bonsaksen, Norway's overtime hero from a night ago, found the back of
the net at 7:21 of the second period by beating a confused Koshechkin.
Norway went win-less in the preliminary round, but enjoyed their first Olympic victory in almost 24 years by eliminating Slovenia in overtime on Tuesday.
Less than a minute after the Bonsaksen tally, on a power play, Sergei Kalinin jammed in a feed from Ilya Kovalchuk to restore the three-goal margin.
Bonsaksen looked back on the tournament after the game, "It's been a good experiene for all the guys," he said. Previous to his overtime winner against Slovenia, the Norwegians had lost 11-straight Olympic games.
When you reach the quarter-final you want to move on to the next round, said Norway's Patrick Thoresen, "But we came up against a big contender today and we
couldn't hold off their offence, they were too strong for us."
Nikita Nesterov and Ivan Telegin would also score for Team OAR, which had six different goal scorers, and for each of them, tonight was their first goal of the tournament.
The Russians now have 20 goals in four games.
The OAR dominated Slovenia and the USA after a first game slip-up against Slovakia. Observers believe they have improved each game.
We're a very hungry group of guys, so we just need to prepare and take one game
at a time and the next game will be the biggest one, said Kovalchuk, whose set-up on the Kalinin goal was his sixth point.