Russia sinks Canada again to win world title

Sun May 10, 2009 7:33pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood

BERNE (Reuters) - Russia rallied to beat Canada 2-1 and win the world ice hockey championship on Sunday, its second successive final victory over the same opponent.

Jason Spezza gave Canada an early lead but Oleg Saprykin equalized in the first period and Alexander Radulov fired the winner five minutes from the end of the second.

The Russians, who won last year's final 5-4 in overtime on Canadian soil to win the trophy for the first time in 15 years, survived a tense third period to frustrate their opponents again.

Russia goalminder Ilya Bryzgalov saved 37 out of 38 shots while his opposite number Dwayne Roloson faced only 17 shots all evening.

Russia's Ilya Kovalchuk was named player of the tournament (MVP).

"We know the way they play, and they know the way we operate," said Radulov. "I think we started the game better than they did, but by the second period they got more shots. Our goalie was outstanding."

Canada coach Lindy Ruff said: "We didn't take advantage of our opportunities and they did. Bryzgalov didn't make any mistakes or let us back in the game."

Canada survived an early Russia powerplay, thanks to superb point-blank saves by Roloson, and went ahead when Spezza fired the puck past Bryzgalov from Shea Weber's pass at 5.37 minutes.   Continued...

<p>Russia's players celebrate victory over Canada after their IIHF World Hockey Championship gold medal game in Bern May 10, 2009. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener</p>