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World Cup Roundup: Third period explosion carries Canada to finals

Canada scored three goals in the third period, and dispatched rival Russia to advance to the finals at the World Cup of hockey.

Sidney Crosby, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron’s line accounted for three of Canada’s five goals, as Canada advanced to the finals at the World Cup of Hockey following a 5-3 win over Russia.

Crosby opened the scoring just 7:40 into the game. Dimitry Kulikov lost a puck in his feet, and Crosby stole it, faking Bobrovsky and then beating him with a backhand shot. Canada dominated play in the first period, but couldn’t translate that dominance into a bigger one on the scoreboard.

Despite being outplayed, Russia would take the lead in the second period, and were in position to do so thanks to the play of Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky made XX saves in the contest, including a series of difficult stops in the middle frame. Nikita Kucherov was the first to take advantage, carrying the puck in the offensive zone on the rush, and firing a shot off of the post and past Carey Price. Kucherov’s goal tied the game at one 8:47 into the second.

7:37 later, Russia took the lead. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ivan Telegin, and Evgeny Dadonov cycled the puck well, and Dadonov set up Telegin in front. Telegin couldn’t jam the puck past Price, but Kuznetsov batted it past Carey Price out of mid-air.

But Russia was too content to rely on Sergei Bobrovsky, and it didn’t take long for Canada to capitalize on its relentless pressure. 1:12 after Russia took the lead, Brad Marchand tied the game. Crosby found Marchand alone at the side of the net off of a broken play in the offensive zone, and Canada equalized.

The scoreboard finally began to reflect Canada’s dominance in the third period. 1:16 into the third, Marchand scored his second goal of the game, thanks again to his linemates. This time, Bergeron earned the primary assist, as Marchand redirected his pass past Bobrovsky while driving the net.

Just 4:32 later, Corey Perry buried a rebound to give Canada a two-goal lead. Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot for a rebound, which Logan Couture couldn’t finish, but Perry was there to double Canada’s lead. John Tavares toe-dragged Russia’s defense on an odd-man rush, and sniped Bobrovsky in the top corner to give the Canadians an insurmountable three-goal lead with 10:38 left in regulation.

Artemi Panarin scored for Russia with seven seconds remaining in regulation but it was too little, too late, and Canada advanced. Now, the Canadians await the winner of tomorrow’s Sweden/Europe game, and will begin their best-of-three finals series on Tuesday.

Sharks Watch

Brent Burns (D, Canada)

16:57 TOI, 2 SOG in 5-3 win over Russia.

Logan Couture (F, Canada)

16:32 TOI, 1 assist, 2 SOG

Joe Thornton (F, Canada)

10:55 TOI, 1 SOG

Marc-Edouard Vlasic (D, Canada)

20:41 TOI (third-highest on Canada), 2 assists, 2 SOG

Fear the Fin Three Stars

  1. Sidney Crosby (F, Canada): 3 points (1 G, 2 A)
  2. Brad Marchand (F, Canada): 2 goals
  3. Patrice Bergeron (F, Canada): 3 assists

What’s up next?

Sweden and Europe battle for the other berth in the finals tomorrow at 10 AM EST on ESPN.