Pavel Datsyuk bagged a hat-trick in Russia’s 6-0 thrashing of the Czech Republic at the Chanel One Cup in Moscow, with the win propelling the Red Machine to the top of Euro Hockey Tour standings.
Russia is the hot favorite at the home Euro Hockey Tour stage as the NHL lockout allowed them to field all of their strongest players.
The hosts created some breathing room early on in first period against the Czech Republic at the packed Margasport arena.
Russia's Aleksandr Radulov drew first blood at the nine minute mark, redirecting the puck into the net after an effort from Aleksey Emelin.
Pavel Datsyuk than made it 2-0 for the Russians, with his wrist-shot leaving Czech keeper Ondrej Pavelec empty handed.
Zinetula Bilyaletdinov’s men got their third goal four minutes into the second period, as Sergey Mozyakin found the empty net after a clever pass from Alex Ovechkin on a powerplay.
Twenty eight minutes in, Datsyuk scored again to make it 4-0 for the home team, sending goalie Pavelec to the bench.
His replacement, Alexander Salak, was forced to take his medicine as well, letting another one get by in the 10th minute of the final period after an impressive solo from Evgeny Malkin.
A minute later, Datsyuk calmly converted his one-on-one chance to complete his hat-trick, 6-0.
“Personal achievements were important to me when I was younger,” Datsyuk told Sportbox.ru. “Now the performance of my line and the whole team is what I care about. Victory is what’s important.”
“The stadium was packed once again. The fans’ support was great. I want to thank them for coming. Maybe it’s because there were fewer traffic jams today,” the 34-year-old match hero added.
The result sees Russia leapfrogging the Czech Republic into first place for the overall Euro Hockey Tour standings, with a point now separating the sides.
The Red Machine will face the young Finnish squad in their third and final match at the Channel One Cup on Sunday.