Monday, September 19, 2016
Sweden holds off Russia in World Cup of Hockey
Los Angeles (AFP) - Sweden withstood a late return of the offer Alex Ovechkin Russian team to win 2-1 Sunday as each team opened their account in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.
Ovechkin thought he had the goal with 8.2 seconds left in the third period equalizer, but game officials ruled that it intended because he batted the puck into the net with his hand.
Video review confirmed the call on the ice.
For Russia, it was a disappointing opening the two-week tournament, eight teams with a wealth of the best players in the National Hockey League.
Captain of the Washington Capitals Ovechkin, always looking for his first crown of the Stanley Cup from the NHL at age 31, had a distinct lack of success in a Russian jersey in these "best best over-" events.
He won three gold medals with Russia at the World Championship, but the event overlaps the playoffs and NHL do not have all the best players in the elite league.
NHL players began participating in the Olympics in 1998 and Russia has never won gold, silver in 1998 and bronze in 2002. The Russians rebounded from their home Winter Games in Sochi in 2014 in the quarterfinals.
With the commitment of the NHL to do all the best players available for future Olympics hesitant, restarted the World Cup may be the best chance for Ovechkin to prove he can lead Russia to a title in a tournament setting featuring the world's best.
Ovechkin scored on a wrist shot in traffic with 33 seconds in the third period to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Team Sweden goalie Jacob Markstrom, starting in place of the ill Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves and forward Gabriel Landeskog and defenseman Victor Hedman scored less than three minutes apart in the second period to challenge Sweden to an advance of 2 -0.
Landeskog scored a powerplay goal at 10:41, four seconds into the man-advantage.
Hedman scored on a power supply of the left wing Carl Hagelin at 24:52.