Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
exclusive for khl.ru

No surprises as Team Russia easily defeats Team Austria with a 7-1 score, with Vasily Podkolzin netting a double and having an assist.

In the third game of the tournament, Larionov shuffled against his lines, returning Rodion Amirov to the first line with team's captain Vasili Podkolzin and Marat Khusnutdinov, and dressing Mikhail Abramov on the second line alongside Yegor Chinakhov and Arseni Gritsyuk. On defense, Daniil Chaika was left to the locker room, with Roman Bychkov, who had three assists in the game, taking his place. Yaroslav Askarov also was given some rest, with Artur Akhtyamov defending the crease for Team Russia.

"I think that Abramov played a good game," Larionov said after the game. "We knew that it wouldn't have been easy for him since he didn't play in the first two matches, but his line scored a couple of good goals in the third period, and we may consider playing them again in the game against Team Sweden."

Larionov's team found itself up by one goal after just four minutes: Chinakhov had a breakaway opportunity and was stopped by a Jacob Pfeffer's foul play for a penalty shot call. Rodion Amirov found his first tally in the tournament, realizing the opportunity, beating Jakob Brandner glove-side in a similar fashion as he did against Team Sweden at the 2019 U18 WJC. However, the goal came at a cost: Chinakhov was hit hard during the play and didn't return for the game's remainder. "It's hard to say right now if he is back tomorrow," Larionov said after the game. "We need to talk to the doctors and check his conditions."

The Austrians tried to play aggressively, but the difference in class between the two teams was striking, and Podkolzin found the net a bit more than a couple of minutes later with a laser-beam shot from the right circle that went in just behind the crossbar.

Midway through the first period, Yegor Spiridonov was caught on an interference call, and the Austrians had a chance to score their first goal in the tournament. However, the Russians killed the penalty off and even had a couple of chances, with Marat Khusnutdinov ringing the left post with a shot from the left circle. With the teams back on even strength, Podkolzin potted his second of the night, converting a rebound after a blue-line shot by Artemi Knyazev. With less than five minutes to go in the opening stanza, Marat Khusnutdinov opened his account in this year's tournament after converting a shot by Podkolzin that was first stopped by the Austrian goalie, augmenting the Russian lead to four goals. In the first period's tail, the Austrians had a great chance to score their first in this year's World Juniors, when Lucas Thaler presented himself all alone in front of Akhtyamov, but his shot - with just one second to go in the period - rattled the crossbar.

"It was important for us to score some goals," said Rodion Amirov in the first intermission. "Our goals gave us confidence, and we started to gain chemistry and momentum in the offensive zone."

The first chance of the second period was on Mikhail Abramov's stick, who couldn't beat the Austrian goalie after just one minute in the second frame. However, after eight minutes, Senna Peeters found the first goal for Team Austria when he beat Akhtyamov after a fast break led by Marco Kasper. In the rest of the period, the Russians controlled the play, and the score remained 4-1 in favor of Larionov's troop. Moreover, the coaches decided to roll the four lines to save some energy before facing Sweden for the most critical round-robin game. Podkolzin, for example, only logged fourteen minutes of action.

In the third period, the Russians gained their first powerplay when Tim Harnisch tripped Mikhail Abramov behind the Austrian crease. Finally, the team led by Larionov found its first goal with the man advantage when Artemi Knyazev found the right angle from the blue line with Marat Khusnutdinov blocking the shooting line to the opposition goalie.

Midway through the period, the Russians could enjoy another man advantage. After a swift pass by Podkolzin, Amirov had a fantastic chance to make it a 6-1 game, but Brandner denied him the goal with a tremendous glove save. However, team Russia will find its sixth goal later in the third period when Yegor Afanasyev put the puck in the open net after a shot by Mikhail Abramov ringed the crossbar. Some thirty seconds later, Arseni Gritsyuk further increased the Russian's advantage with a fantastic shot from the high slot after a crisp pass by Yegor Afanasyev.

"Psychologically, it was important for us to win this game," Amirov told the press after the game. "Chinakhov did a great job to gain us the shootout in the first period, and I was ready for that. It was important for us to find some confidence back; our line couldn't score for two games."

"This kind of games are always useful for D-men too," Knyazev added. "We had a chance to get some confidence in the D-zone and help us gaining pace in sight of more important games."

With six points, the Russians are now the second team in Group B, and tomorrow they will face Sweden for the group's lead and more comfortable placement in the quarterfinals.

Main Photo - Codie McLachlan/Getty Sport /GettyImages.ru







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Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
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