Russia Controls South Korea in Final Pre-Olympic Contest

Russia Controls South Korea in Final Pre-Olympic Contest

Steven Ellis10 Feb 2018Steven Ellis»

Russia has finished their pre-Olympic tournament schedule with a massive 8-1 victory over the hosts of the 2018 Olympics, South Korea.


Russia has finished their pre-Olympic tournament schedule with a massive 8-1 victory over the hosts of the 2018 Olympics, South Korea.

Korea had a decent first period showing, coming off a win against Kazakhstan earlier in the week. The team was heavily outmatched, with Russia expected to be the favourites heading into the start of the tournament later next week. They were forced to play most of the opening period in their own zone, and a pair of defensive lapses allowed Russia to take an advantage early.

At 15:01, Nikita Gusev would make it 1-0 after taking Kirill Kaprizov's pass and roofing the puck over Matt Dalton with a wrist shot the Korean netminder had no chance on. Then, not even 15 seconds later, a poor giveaway by Mike Testwuide behind the net allowed Mikhail Grigorenko room to let go a hard slap shot, blasting the puck past Dalton to make it 2-0 for the Russians.

But Korea wouldn't leave the period without a goal. Minho Cho, one of Korea's best national team players of all-time, set up Kitchener, Ontario-born forward Brock Radunske in the slot, with Radunske, a former Edmonton Oilers prospect, sending one through the legs of Vasily Koshechkin and in to make it 2-1 heading into the first intermission.

The Koreans were having a poor time clearing the puck out of their zone, thus relying on Dalton, a former Boston Bruins prospect, to pick up the slack. Just past the three-minute mark in the second, Dalton allowed a weak one after Sergei Andronov picked up his own rebound behind three Korean defenders before squeaking it under Dalton, giving Russia the 3-1 advantage.

Korea's defence was allowing the Russians to take full control in front of the net, and 14 minutes into the second, the Red Machine took the 4-1 advantage. This time, Kaprizov took Gusev's pass from behind the net and one-timed it past Dalton's glove, giving the Russians the three-goal advantage with time ticking down in the middle stanza.

The Russians weren't done. Seven minutes into the third, Sergei Shirokov used great patience to hold on to the puck after initially threatening to slap it on net. Instead, he waited and sent a blister of a wrist shot past Dalton, making it 5-1. Then, with half of the period still to play, long time NHL superstar Pavel Datsyuk fanned on a shot from the high slot, somehow beating Dalton through the legs to make it 6-1 for the team in red. Yegor Yakovlev would grab a goal and Gusev would put in another to finally put the game to sleep, with the stronger Russian team taking the 8-1 victory on Saturday in South Korea.

Both teams are finished their pre-Olympic tournament slate, with South Korea set to play in their first Olympic ice hockey tournament game ever against the Czech Republic on Thursday, February 15th. Russia will partake in the opening game of the tournament on February 14th, taking on Slovakia in the strong Group B.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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