Ice hockey: Canada dump Russia to reach World Cup final

Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:26pm EDT
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada needed three third-period goals to break open a showdown with Russia and reach the World Cup of Hockey final with a 5-3 victory on Saturday - the latest installment in the storied rivalry between the two nations.

Canada struck three times in the opening 10 minutes of the final period to break a 2-2 deadlock before holding the explosive Russian offense largely in check the rest of the way and set up a title decider against Sweden or Team Europe.

"I get pretty excited when it's Canada versus Russia whether playing in (tonight's) game or if it's the world juniors, any type of hockey game," said Canadian captain Sidney Crosby, who finished the game with a goal and two assists.

"History has provided us with some great games, it's exciting as a Canadian hockey player playing against Russia."

The highly-anticipated clash between the two nations was their first in a best-on-best tournament since Canada dominated a quarter-finals showdown at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

The victory sent them through to a best-of-three final starting on Tuesday against the winner of Sunday's semi-final between Group B winner Sweden and Group A runner-up Team Europe, a mix of players from eight countries.

The host nation opened the scoring about eight minutes into the game on a superb individual effort from Crosby, who took the puck from Dmitry Kulikov and skated across the front of the Russian net before sending a backhand shot over goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

Canada dominated the first period and could have easily been ahead by more if not for the superb play of Bobrovsky, who stoned a number of wide open Canadian shooters.   Continued...

Sep 24, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Canada forward Sidney Crosby (87)  looks to make a play as forward Patrice Bergeron (37)  holds off Team Russia forward Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) during a semifinal game in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports