We got under the rink. Russia failed to stop the best team in the world, losing to the USA 0: 6
The Russian national team took a successful start at the women’s ice hockey world championship. In the starting game, our girls outplayed the Swiss team (3: 1). Having conceded first, Evgeny Bobariko’s charges lost to their rivals 0: 1, but managed to turn the tide of the match and win the first victory in this tournament. In the next match, the Russians met with the hosts of the championship – the Canadian national team. For 27 minutes, ours managed to keep their gates intact. But the class of teams is not too equal – the Canadians scored five goals in a row, as a result, having won a landslide victory – 5: 1.
In the third game, the Russian women had to measure their strength with the main favorite of the tournament – the US national team. Since 2008, there have been nine Women’s Ice Hockey World Championships. In this time period, the Stars and Stripes have won eight victories in this time period, losing only once (in 2012) to the representatives of Canada in the decisive match. Moreover, the last time American hockey players were defeated in a world championship game was 8.5 years ago – in 2013, the Canadians beat the Americans in a group stage match (3: 2 B), but the Stars and Stripes took revenge in the final. In 2014, Canadians won gold medals at the Sochi Olympics. And since then, the American women have won four world championships in a row, at the same time celebrating their success at the Olympics in South Korea.
Before the start of the current World Cup, Russia and the United States held a test match in which the Americans won a major victory – 6: 0. With two victories, the “Stars and Stripes” started at the world forum itself, beating the teams of Switzerland and Finland with the same score 3: 0. And if someone, looking at not the largest accounts, could begin to experience illusions about the result of today’s match, then it was necessary to look a little deeper. In the game with Finland, the Americans threw their rivals almost four times – 39:10, and only the magnificent game of the goalkeeper Meeri Raisanen saved the bronze medalist of the past Olympics from a total defeat. The Russians in Pyeongchang remained fourth, losing to the Finns (2: 3) in the match for third place.
So in the reporting game, our girls had to jump over their heads in order to at least impose a worthy resistance on the best team in the world. The Americans opened the scoring in the 12th minute of the first period, when Britta Curl scored . The best sniper of the US national team at this World Cup, Grace Zumwinkle, could not beat the goalkeeper of the Russian team Anna Prugova in close combat, but Curl, who came to the rescue on the rebound, turned out to be the most agile on a penny, sending the puck into the gates of our national team with finishing. The ratio of shots on target at the end of the starting 20 minutes of the game recorded the overwhelming playing advantage of the Americans – 21: 4.
With this goal, 32-year-old Knight became the highest scoring player in the history of the women’s world championships, breaking the record of her compatriot Cammy Granato . Knight had 45 accurate shots, while the retired Granato had 44 goals. At the same time, Knight caught up with Granato in the number of points scored in the world championships.
In the middle of the segment, Knight could draw up a double, but having rolled out one-on-one with Prugova, she sent the puck into the post. The skeleton saved the Russian team several times during this match, but 2.5 minutes before the end of the second period, the puck still found its way into the gates of the Russians – defender Lee Steklein perfectly kissed the blue line.
In the final period, two more goals flew into the gates of Anna – when playing in the majority, Kelly Pannek and Abby Murphy hit the target . After the fifth conceded goal, Prugova, who had reflected 44 shots, lost her place at the gate of Valeria Merkusheva . But she did not remain “dry” for long – the sister of Colorado striker Jesse Comfer celebrated the success . The Russian national team could not stop the American rink, having suffered a final defeat with a score of 0: 6. The final statistics of the match recorded the superiority of the American women in shots on target – 55:11. The best team in the world continues its confident winning streak at the world championships.
Russian girls should not worry too much, because two defeats in meetings with North American teams in the group stage were obvious and expected long before the start of the tournament. Tomorrow Bobariko’s charges will have to play the last game at the preliminary stage of the world championships – the rivals are the Finnish national team. The rival of the Russian girls in the quarterfinals will depend on the outcome of this meeting. According to the rules of the competition, all five teams from the strongest group advance to the playoffs, and three more teams get from the parallel quintet.
If they win tomorrow’s match, the Russians will secure the third place in their group, and in the first playoff game they will almost certainly play against the Czech national team, which should take first place in group B. the Russians will drop to fourth place in their five, and in the most important match of the tournament they will again fight with the unyielding Switzerland. This is the format of the women’s world championship.