The second day of the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup brought a big game between traditional rivals USA and Russia. The US team was in a difficult position with no points from the first day, while the Russians had a chance to clinch a spot in the semi-finals. Russia scored four power-play goals en route to a 5-2 victory.
Penalties: 9:9, plus Yamamoto, Rymsha, Gettinger, Knierim (všichni USA) a Rubtcov (RUS) 10 min. za nesportovní chování. PP goals: 1:3. SH goals: 0:0.
Referees: Novák, Lokšík – Výleta, Šefčík. Attendance: 421.
The start of the game was played very carefully by both teams, as nobody wanted to make a mistake. The first chance came five minutes in, when Avramenko went through the US defence and shot the puck under the Rasmussen´s pad, but there was an American defender who was able to stop the puck on the goal line. The Americans were also dangerous in the offensive zone with the biggest opportunity in the 13th minute, when Lown took advantage of a strange bounce off the boards and shot from a great position, but Sukhachev made a huge save. The wait for the first goal ended in the 17th minute on a Russian power play Alexander Iyakovenko sent a huge slap shot from the point blue line and it beat Rasmussen.
The Americans finished the period in fine style. Perunovich lost his position and the resulting American pressure resulted in the tying goal. Shukhatsev wasn´t able to hold onto the puck after a shot from Peeke and Casey Mittelstadt found it and was able to get his stick on it and force it into the ne with just 14 seconds to play in the period
The second period began with big rush. Harper was slashed from behind on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot, but Sukhachev made a big save with his right pad. Shortly afterwards the Russians also got a penalty shot after Ivanyuzhenkov was hooked, but he was also unsuccessful. Then, both teams settled down and the chances stopped for a while. The USA had a few more chances, as Wait and Mittelstadt were close to scoring, but their shots missed the target. Everyone expected the teams to go into the intermission still 1–1, but then something happened . . . a Russian hurricane at the end of period!
On the power play, Igor Geraskin was probably trying to pass the puck through the attacking zone, but the direction of puck changed by a penalty-killer and went into the net to give the lead back to Russia. And they weren´t finished, as Nikita Popugaev led a great rush and Rasmusen wasn´t able to stop his shot from the right circle with just two seconds left in the period. Suddenly, the Russians were in front 3–1 with one period to go.
The Russian onslaught continued into the start of the third. Less than two minutes, in, Georgii Ivanov dangled through three defenders and finished with a beautiful backhander to make it 4–1. The Americans answered just 34 seconds later, with a nice passing play leading to Rossini with a cross pass to Kailer Yamamoto for an goal to come back within two. The Americans tried to game´s direction, but they couldn´t beat Sukhachev again.
The Russians put the game away on another power play in the 48th minute. Veriav started the play behind the net and sent a nice backhand pass to Iyakovenko, who fired it top corner to make it 5–2. With two wins now, Russia has almost certainly clinched a spot in the semi-finals, while the Americans will probably play for fifth or seventh place.
Vitaly Prokhorov (head coach of Team Russia): “We are happy to win our second game on this tournament. Our performance was much better than yesterday in the game against Slovakia. Also our goalie Vladislav Shukhatsev was, in my opinion, the best player on the ice.”
Derek Plante (head coach of Team USA): “I am proud of my guys. Our performance was much different than yesterday, we had many positive moments. That´s hockey, Russia has a great team and they deserved to win. There´ s no reason to be sad. We have to concentrate on the next game. This team is really good and I am confident that the players will show how good they are.”