It almost looked like the Russians decided to opt for a step backward and two forward approach after they lost the WJC opener to the Czech Republic. The team's head coach Valery Bragin opted for a switch in goal, getting Ak Bars' Amir Miftakhov between the piping and moving Egor Sokolov up to the first line with Grigory Denisenko and Alexander Khovanov. Moreover, Dynamo Moscow's Ilya Kruglov and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's Daniil Misyul made their debut in the tournament.
Team Russia found itself up by one goal after a few shifts when a shot by Khovanov had a lucky bounce on the goalie's blocker. The team led by Bragin kept on pushing the gas, and midway through the first stanza, Metallurg's Pavel Dorofeyev doubled the gap; then, things were even worse for Canada when Nikita Rtishchev converted a big rebound after a blue-line slapshot.
The music didn't change in the second period. After Nikita Alexandrov scored the fourth goal for the Russians, Team Canada opted for a goalie swap. Still, the change went almost unnoticed when Sokolov deflected a shot from close-in for a sensational 5-0 score. Enough? Not quite. Three minutes later, Denisenko sliced through the Canadian defense like a knife through butter for his first of the tournament.
In the third stanza, the Russians controlled the play and protected Miftakhov's shutout until the final horn. Not much happened, and Team Russian can now celebrate a record-breaking win. But not too hard – tomorrow the Bragin's troop will face Team USA. With all the five teams in Group B sensationally tied at three points, everything is up for grabs, and one false move and any team can find itself in a bad spot.