Kuznetsov lunges and scores! (Photo credit: YLE.fi)
In the first game of the Oddset Hockey Games tournament, the Russian National Team took on Finland outside at Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium. Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was sporting a maroon hoodie to cope with the 1-degree temperature at puck drop (minus-5 wind chill), centered Russia’s first line. Kuznetsov proved to be Russia’s best player notching a goal and an assist in Russia’s 2-0 win.
In the first period, Kuznetsov brought the puck into the offensive zone. After battling several players along the boards, he managed to shovel the puck to Nikolai Zherdev who then attempted a wraparound. Finnish goalie Ari Ahonen was able to make the initial save, but Stanislav Chistov was first to the rebound and batted it home. 1-0 Russia.
In the third, the 19-year-old Kuznetsov maneuvered around four defending Finnish players and sprung himself on a semi-breakaway. After dekeing, a lunging Kuznetsov slid the puck past Ahonen.
After the game, Kuznetsov explained his decision-making on that play to Soviet-Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov. “I just didn’t know who to pass to, so I had to beat them all.” Fair enough.
On Saturday, Russia will play their second game of the tournament in Stockholm against the Swedes. Puck drop is at 9:30am. Photos and video are below.
Video of Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Goal
Outdoor Game Photos
Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium
The public rink beside Olympic Stadium.
A view from Russia’s bench.
Above images via the Finland National Team’s website
Kuznetsov opted to wear a red hoodie under his jersey to stay warm.
Kuznetsov, who normally plays wing, takes a face-off and centers Russia’s first line.
During the game, one of the linesmen suffered a broken foot.
Here’s him being stretchered off.
Additional reporting by Ian Oland.