In the marquee matchup at the Tipsport Arena in Liberec, Russia and Finland officially kicked off the 2008 World Junior Championships in Liberec. They surely did not disappoint.
|Finland - Russia 4:7 (2:1, 0:4, 2:2)|
|Goals and assists: 8. Aaltonen (Salminen, Kemppainen), 16. Jalvanti (Aaltonen) 44. Pustinen (Juutilainen),
44. Kousa (Pesonen) - 12. Kalimulin (Kurbatov, Tikhonov), 27. Bodrov (Gordeyev, Kugryshev),
28. Golubtsov (Kalimulin), 33. Anisimov (Filatov, Kalimulin), 35. Korolev (Voinov), 41. Tikhonov (Kurbatov, Kalimulin), 57. Kugryshev (Bodrov).
Referees: Larking, Ronnmark (SWE) - Carlman (SWE), Masik (SVK).
Power Play Goals: 2:3. Spectators: 1720.
|Finland: Sateri - Jalvanti, Kousa, Lehtivuori, Lajunen, Purolinna, Malkamaki, Jarvinen, Lahde - Pesonen, Sallinen, Puustinen - Aaltonen, Kemppainen, Salminen - Livik, Juutilainen, Warn - Lucenius, Malinen, Poysti.|
|Russia: Bobrovsky - Kalimulin, Kurbatov, Doronin, Seleznev, Voinov, Alexandrov, Chudinov - Tikhonov, Sayustov, Golubtsov - Filatov, Anisimov, Dadonov - Gordeyev, Bodrov, Kugryshev - Milekhin, Mamin, Korolev.|
In tonight’s feature matchup, Russia met Finland in the event that officially kicked off the World Junior Championships in Liberec. Although only 1720 people attended the game, it was a festive crowd that waved flags and cheered heartily.
As far as the game, it was a back and forth game – one of the hills and valleys types. The Finns were the ones who impressed early, they carried a 2-1 lead to the locker room after the first period. However, in a game like this, a one goal lead is most certainly suspect with room for a turnaround.
Nico Aaltonen opened the scoring in the first period, just seven minutes into the contest. Russia, beginning the back and forth pattern, replied just four minutes after the initial attack. Proportionately, Finland answered with a Joonas Jalvanti goal.
Russia scored four unanswered goals in the second period to jump out to a big 5-2 lead. In this game, no lead was safe. Evgeni Bodrov scored a highlight reel goal for Russia in the 2nd on a one-timer slap shot from the slot that just plain beat the Finns’ Harri Sateri.
In the third, the Finns vowed the make it interesting by scoring two goals in a span of 25 seconds. As the Russian fans chanted “poccha,” the Russians were able to answer with two third period goals of their own.
“It was an interesting game. My guys were a little bit nervous,” Russian Head Coach and former NHL player Sergei Nemchinov said after the game. “That’s why we made so mistakes – which cost us goals - we were nervous. In the second period we played much better. We lessened our chances. We started to play better as a team, especially when we we’re down.
“I’m proud of how my team played – especially in the second and third period. We’re going to be ready to play next game,” Nemchinov continued.
The Finnish players knew their mistake – they quit too early, especially on the spunky Russian squad. “We were a little too satisfied. We played for 20 minutes instead of 60,” the Finnish captain said.