2021 Channel One Cup. Russia - Canada - 4:3


In the opening match of the 2021 Channel One Cup, Russia survived a late onslaught against Canada, emerging victorious by a score of 4:3 at the CSKA Arena in Moscow.

The two teams immediately started competing at a fast tempo, creating plenty of opportunities and attacking at any given opportunity.

Russia made the breakthrough within five minutes.

Lurking between the faceoff circles, the unmarked Yegor Korshkov took control of the puck and sent a rasping wrister over the stricken Justin Pogge in the Canadian net.

The hosts pressed Canada throughout the opening frame, with the skillful Kirill Marchenko particularly lively. Canada were also creating chances, though, and our goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov had to make a handful of difficult saves with the opponents creating problems for our team on the counter-attack.

Canada tallied their equaliser on the powerplay in the eighth minute of the second period after making a strong start to the frame.

Unmarked on the right flank, defenseman Brandon Gormley sent a clever wrister under Fedotov.

Nevertheless, that goal only resulted in waking the Russians up again, as the home team instantly reinstated their lead a mere 25 seconds later.

At the blue line, Alexander Elesin decided to try his luck, and his low effort snuck past Pogge who just couldn’t prevent the puck from crossing the line.

Following that goal, Russia began to run the play again, protecting the puck inside the attacking zone effectively and testing Pogge on a regular basis. With a mere six seconds remaining in the second stanza, Nikita Nesterov unleashed an unstoppable one-timer beyond Pogge on the powerplay to deservedly increase the Russian lead to two goals.

That lead was promptly extended to three in the first minute of the third period.

Marchenko brilliantly robbed Pogge of the puck behind the net, found the unmarked Vadim Shipachyov on the doorstep with an intelligent pass, and the latter hit the jackpot with the goalkeeper unable to get back in position in time.

However, Canada weren’t prepared to go down without a fight. Presented with an odd-man rush in the 48th minute, they registered their second goal with the unmarked Daniel Audette giving Fedotov no chance.

The Canadians subsequently made it a nervy finish. After pulling their goaltender, they halved the deficit to one in the penultimate minute, as Eric O’Dell successfully connected with Mat Robinson’s intelligent feed across the slot.

Canada crashed Fedotov’s net with intent during the concluding minute after swapping Pogge for the extra skater again. But, with our goalkeeper standing tall to the challenge, our team held on for dear life.

Russia will now prepare to host Sweden in Moscow tomorrow. Puck-drop is scheduled for 18:30 local time.

Match protocol:

Russia - Canada - 4:3 (1:0, 2:1, 1:2)


1:0 Korshkov, 04.24

1:1 Gormley (Robinson, Tambellini), 27.51 PPG

2:1 Elesin (Marchenko, Chibisov), 28.16

3:1 Nesterov (Anisimov), 39.54 PPG

4:1 Shipachyov (Marchenko), 40.20

4:2 Audette (Knight), 47.10

4:3 O’Dell (Robinson, Spooner), 58.36

Goalkeepers: Fedotov - Pogge

Shots: 66 - 50

Shots on target: 35 - 31

Faceoffs: 25 - 37

Hits: 22 - 22

Blocked shots: 9 - 18

Penalty minutes: 2 - 8

Referees: Gofman, Romasko

15.12.2021. CSKA Arena, Moscow.

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