Russia draws a blank

13 February 2012, 09:48

Russia’s fans did not even have a single goal to celebrate as the team suffered its second straight loss of the Swedish stage of the Eurotour, going down 0-4 to the Czech Republic.

Any hopes of a successful result for Russia had already vanished before the end of a dismal first period. The Czechs’ first serious attack resulted in a goal, with Salavat Yulaev defenseman Jakub Nakladal finding the target a matter of seconds into the third minute. And while Mikhail Biryukov should not be happy with himself for being beaten at his near post for the second, then the blame for the third and fourth rests firmly on the shoulders of the defense for twice leaving the Yugra goalie helpless and exposed.

“I can’t say that the guys don’t understand my plans,” said head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov. “It’s just the opposite – they are all trying, but nothing is working out. A lot depends on the guys’ training at their clubs, but they play a different kind of hockey there.”

Host team Sweden later secured victory in the tournament by beating the Finns 3-1 in the deciding game. The final standings read thus: Sweden - 7 points, Czech Republic - 5, Russia and Finland - 3.

The overall Eurotour standings now read: Sweden - 16, Russia - 15, Czech Republic - 13, Finland - 10.

The next and final stage is to be played in the Czech Republic from the 26th to the 29th of April.


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