A perfect game by goalkeeper Konstantin Barulin helped Russia shut out world champions Finland 3-0 in the opening game of the Channel One Cup.
Ilya Nikulin gave Russia the lead late in the first period with a shot from the blue line, while Denis Kokarev and Vadim Shipachev made their own contributions in the third.
“It was an emotional game tonight,” Russian head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov stressed afterwards.
“The players had a great desire to win. They tried their best to win. Of course, in some moments they were a bit nervous and constrained. But they played with passion. Not everything was perfect tonight and we’ve got a lot of work to do in the future,” he added.
In the late game, Sweden outplayed the Czech Republic, 2-1.
The Channel One Cup is the second leg of the four-nation Euro Hockey Tour. Russia won the Karjala Cup in Finland in November.
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