The Czech Republic beat Russia 2-1 in the last match at the Swedish Games to allow Finland triumph at the third stage of the Euro Hockey Tour.
“It was obvious that the opponents were faster and we lacked the right emotion,” Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, Russia’s coach told the Russian Hockey Federation’s website after the game. “Maybe that’s because our match against Sweden [on Saturday] finished late and the Czechs had more time to rest. But it’s no excuse. Nothing worked out for us on the power play and, in general, we lacked danger on the attack.”
“But still, this tournament gave us some practice. The guys have to understand that it’s a whole different level here. They must know how to mobilize themselves,” he added.
Zbynek Irgl and Vaclav Nedorost made sure the Czech Republic would enter the final with a 2-0 lead in the city of Malmo.
The Russians got a goal back through Evgeny Kuznetsov eight minutes from time, but failed to come up with an equalizer.
Finland played Sweden later on Sunday, knowing that a win would give them victory in the event.
And the Finns achieved the result confidently topping the hosts of the Swedish Games with a 5-2 score.
However, the loss to the Czechs wasn’t enough to shake Russia’s position in the Euro Tour overall standings.
The Russians remain in the lead with 18 points, with Finland and the Czech Republic tied for second on 15 points.
Sweden are struggling in this year’s competition having just six points after nine games.