With their 6-1 win over a spirited Latvian side, Russia demonstrated on Sunday evening why they are the world's top ranked ice hockey team.This content was published on May 3, 2009 - 22:27
Their victory in Bern continued their unbeaten streak at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Switzerland. Russia finish first in Group E and have the top seed in the quarterfinal.
Latvia will advance to the quarterfinal barring an upset by Switzerland over the United States on Monday.
It took Russia more than ten minutes to score their first goal against twelfth-ranked Latvia, who were buoyed by a shootout win over Switzerland on Thursday.
The two teams played evenly until Anton Kuryanov and Sergei Mozyakin demonstrated just how dangerous the Russian cross-ice pass can be.
On a power play and applying pressure in the Latvian zone, Mozyakin drew goaltender Edgars Masalskis to the left side, then fired the puck over to Kuryanov, who tipped it into the open net.
Russia began to pull away in the second period with three goals in under three minutes from Alexi Tereschenko, Oleg Tverdovsky and a second from Anton Kuryanov.
Herberts Vasiljevs got Latvia on the board at 36:05 with a power play goal.
Alexander Frolov added a goal for Russia at 43:38 and Oleg Tverdovsky scored again at 46:28 for his third point of the game. Masalaskis faced 37 shots and Russian back-up goalie Alexander Eremenko saw 26.
Belarus fall to the Czech Republic
In Zurich, Belarus were defeated by the Czech Republic by a score of 3-0.
The two sides played an uneventful first period – neither side scored and each had one trip to the penalty box. Petr Cajanek opened the scoring at 30:02 with a shorthanded goal, followed by New Jersey Devils alternate captain Patrick Elias.
Petr Cajanek scored his second of the night at 55:52.
The Czech Republic finished the game with 33 shots compared to Belarus's 18.
The Czechs enter the quarterfinal with four wins and two losses. Belarus also have four wins and two losses.
The quarterfinal games begin on Wednesday in Bern.