Reaction after the Women's World Championship match against Finland


Russian women's national team head coach Alexei Chistyakov:

- It was a difficult game, but the girls did a good job sticking to the game plan. We conceded a poor goal, but they found the strength within themselves to hold on and make a comeback. At the end of the match, we finally used one of our powerplays. We have been working on special teams a lot, however Finland defended well. When we scored our winning goal, I asked my players to keep concentrated and not to take a penalty. If we would have fouled, it could have extended to overtime. 

Russian women's national team defender Anna Shibanova:

- It was a good game, we knew it would be tough. We played a lot on the penalty kill, but we held on and stuck to the coach's instructions. We eventually managed to score on the powerplay and take the victory. At training, we have been working on our tactics and we knew how we would compete on a man's advantage. When Finland pulled their goaltender, we tried to clear the puck from our zone without icing it. We'll be ready for the match against the USA, but we will probably play more in defence and wait for counterattack opportunities.

Russian women's national team forward Yekaterina Smolentseva:

- How did I score the winning goal? I received a pass, saw the open corner of the net and managed to score. It would have been harder to miss. After we went ahead, we managed to fend off Finland's advances. The coach told the girls not to skate forward too much and to carefully clear the puck from our zone. Lyudmila Belyakova had a chance to score into the empty net. In the second period, we had a goal disallowed for goaltender interference. There was contact, as a Finnish player pushed me into the goalkeeper. It's interesting playing against any team at the World Championship, now we have to prepare for America. Having played in the NWHL, I can say that it will be an interesting match. They have very quick players.

Russian women's national team forward Fanuza Kadirova:

- There was no need to pump us up for this match. It's always hard against Finland, it was the same last year. When we took the lead in the final 50 seconds, we showed true character to hold Finland off. I felt that we would see the match out. It was difficult for the girls, but they managed to do it.

Russian women's national team forward Iya Gavrilova:

- It was difficult during the first ten minutes. We expected Finland to come flying out of the blocks, they often begin strongly. The coach told us to hold on during that time and be disciplined. 

- Finland have physically bigger players. How did you compete against them?

- We put together good counterattacks. Because they are stronger, we should be quicker. We caught them out at neutral ice and had breakaways.

- When scoring the second, did you know that you would keep the winning score?

- Yes, there were around 40 seconds remaining and the psychological advantage was already on our side. In my opinion, we dominated in the third period and put the pressure on the opponents. We deserved to score that goal.

Russian Ice Hockey Federation 

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