20
May
12

2012 World Championship

Host Cities: Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden
May 4-20, 2012
RESULT: GOLD MEDAL

No matter how talented a roster Russia gathers for every World Championship, there are always concerns about team chemistry, defense, and discipline. From 2007 to 2011 under coach Slava Bykov, Russia won two gold medals, one silver, and one bronze. However, Russia’s 4th place finish in 2011 was an obvious disappointment and led the Russian Hockey Federation to replace Bykov with accomplished Ak Bars Kazan coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov. The new coach brought back only seven players from the 2011 team and invited ten debutants, including Traktor star Evgeni Kuznetsov, Ak Bars defenseman Evgeni Medvedev, and Omsk winger Alexander Popov. The team was captained by veteran defenseman Ilya Nikulin and led offensively by NHL stars Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk. Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was tasked with the bulk of the goaltending duties and was backed by Konstantin Barulin. Russia won all of its round-robin games, including a 7-3 comeback win over Sweden after trailing 3-0. Malkin had instant chemistry with wingers Popov and Perezhogin, with the trio combining for  19 goals and 40 points. Russia’s only black mark was the suspension of defensemen Emelin and Kalinin for unsportsmanlike play in the game against Czech Republic. However, the team was strengthened by the arrival of Alexanders Ovechkin and Semin for the playoff round. The duo was centred by Datsyuk and even outshined Malkin’s line in the elimination games. Since the 1980s, Russia has never so easily and confidently cruised to a gold medal victory. The usually pesky and difficult Finns were no match for Russia in the semifinal, even on their home ice in Helsinki! Russia faced the spirited Slovaks in the final. The Slovak captain Zdeno Chara opened the scoring, but then all four of Russia’s lines contributed for a 6-2 routing. Although Malkin with his 11-goal performance won the tournament MVP award and both him and Nikulin were named to the tournament all-star team, none of Bilyaletdinov’s selections looked out of place at this tournament. The team was greeted with euphoria as they brought Russia’s third World Championship trophy in five years to Moscow.

Game 1: Russia 5 – Latvia 2
Goals: Nikulin (Perezhogin, Malkin), Malkin (Nikulin), Malkin (Popov), Popov (Perezhogin, Kalinin), Kuznetsov (Kulemin) – Indrasis (Galvins, Sprukts), Daugavins (Pujacs, Bartulis)
Shots: Russia 40 – Latvia 26
Saves: Varlamov 24 – Masalskis 35
PIM: Russia 8 – Latvia 6

Game 2: Russia 4 – Norway 2
Goals: Datsyuk (Kalinin, Emelin), Denisov (Medvedev, Kuznetsov), Kulemin (Malkin), Perezhogin (Malkin) – Ask (Holos, Thoresen), Holtet (Skroder, Holos)
Shots: Russia 46 – Norway 21
Saves: Varlamov 19 – Volden 42
PIM: Russia 8 – Norway 10

Game 3: Russia 2 – Germany 0
Goals: Zherdev (Medvedev, Malkin), Tereshchenko (Shirokov, Zherdev)
Shots: Russia 26 – Germany 30
Saves: Varlamov 30 – Kotschnew 24
PIM: Russia 10 – Germany 10

Game 4: Russia 3 – Denmark 1
Goals: Medvedev (Shirokov, Zherdev), Malkin (Perezhogin, Nikulin), Kalinin (Kuznetsov, Shirokov) – Eller
Shots: Russia 52 – Denmark 36
Saves: Barulin 35 – Nielsen 49
PIM: Russia 2 – Denmark 6

Game 5: Russia 7 – Sweden 3
Goals: Popov (Malkin), Malkin (Biryukov, Kuznetsov), Emelin (Datsyuk, Kalinin), Perezhogin (Medvedev), Malkin (Popov), Malkin (Popov), Denisov (Malkin, Popov) – Karlsson (Stalberg, Alfredsson), Zetterberg (Alfredsson, Eriksson), Franzen (Eriksson, Zetterberg)
Shots: Russia 36 – Sweden 46
Saves: Varlamov 43 – Fasth 29
PIM: Russia 37 – Sweden 10

Game 6: Russia 2 – Czech Republic 0
Goals: Perezhogin (Nikulin), Malkin (Popov)
Shots: Russia 23 – Czech Republic 30
Saves: Barulin 30 – Kovar 21
PIM: Russia 8 – Czech Republic 8

Game 7: Russia 4 – Italy 0
Goals: Datsyuk (Kuznetsov), Kuznetsov (Kulemin, Nikitin), Biryukov (Malkin, Perezhogin), Popov (Perezhogin)
Shots: Russia 40 – Italy 29
Saves: Varlamov 21/21, Barulin 8/8 – Tragust 36
PIM: Russia 2 – Italy 4

Quarterfinal: Russia 5 – Norway 2
Goals: Ovechkin (Semin), Popov (Emelin, Ryasenski), Emelin (Datsyuk, Semin), Zherdev (Biryukov, Tereshchenko), Nikulin, Malkin – Skroder (Hansen, Thoresen), Thoresen (Ask, Holos)
Shots: Russia 45 – Norway 21
Saves: Varlamov 19 – Haugen 40
PIM: Russia 2 – Norway 8

Semifinal: Russia 6 – Finland 2
Goals: Malkin (Nikitin, Popov), Malkin (Zherdev, Shirokov), Ovechkin (Denisov, Popov), Malkin (Nikulin), Kokarev (Kulemin), Shirokov (Biryukov, Nikitin) – Niakala (Kontiola, Joensuu), Granlund (Jarvinen, Koivu)
Shots: Russia 23 – Finland 31
Saves: Varlamov 29 – Vehanen 17
PIM: Russia 4 – Finland 8

Final: Russia 6 – Slovakia 2
Goals: Semin (Ovechkin, Datsyuk), Perezhogin (Popov), Tereshchenko (Shirokov, Zherdev), Semin (Datsyuk), Datsyuk (Semin, Zherdev), Malkin (Nikulin, Nikitin) – Zhara (Surovy), Chara (Surovy, Satan)
Shots: Russia 42 – Slovakia 31
Saves: Varlamov 29 – Laco 28/33, Hamerlik 8/9
PIM: Russia 2 – Slovakia 4

Team Stats:

Player GP G A PTS +/- PIM
D #5 Ilya Nikulin (C) 10 2 5 7 +10 8
D #6 Denis Denisov 10 2 1 3 +5 2
D #7 Dmitri Kalinin 5 1 3 4 +6 25
D #12 Nikita Nikitin 10 0 4 4 +4 4
D #48 Evgeni Biryukov 7 1 3 4 +9 4
D #74 Alexei Emelin 9 2 2 4 +12 4
D #77 Evgeni Ryasenski 7 0 1 1 +3 0
D #82 Evgeni Medvedev 10 1 3 4 +4 4
F #8 Alexander Ovechkin 3 2 2 4 +5 2
F #11 Evgeni Malkin 10 11 8 19 +16 4
F #13 Pavel Datsyuk 10 3 4 7 +7 2
F #15 Alexander Svitov (A) 10 0 0 0 0 4
F #19 Denis Kokarev 10 1 0 1 0 4
F #24 Alexander Popov 10 4 8 12 +15 2
F #27 Alexei Tereshchenko (A) 10 2 1 3 +2 2
F #28 Alexander Semin 3 2 3 5 +4 0
F #37 Alexander Perezhogin 10 4 5 9 +16 4
F #41 Nikolai Kulemin 10 1 3 4 +4 0
F #52 Sergei Shirokov 10 1 5 6 +2 2
F #80 Evgeni Ketov 7 0 0 0 0 0
F #92 Evgeni Kuznetsov 10 2 4 6 +3 4
F #93 Nikolai Zherdev 10 2 4 6 +3 2
Goaltender GP W L GAA Save % SO
G #1 Semyon Varlamov 8 8 0 1.77 93.9 1
G #30 Konstantin Barulin 2 2 0 0.50 98.5 1
G 40 Mikhail Biryukov 1 0 0 0.00 100.0 0

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