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Russia puts Team North America to the sword

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Russia puts Team North America to the sword

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Russia bounced back from their opening defeat to Sweden by downing Team North America 4-3 in their second group B encounter of the the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

In a fast-paced, end-to-end game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, North America’s young guns (made up of a selection of talented U-23 players) opened the scoring through Auston Matthews.

Goaltender Matt Murray stopped the first 15 shots he faced, but he couldn’t keep the Russia floodgates closed forever.

And when the Russian goals came they came thick and fast.

Russia stunned their opponents with four goals in just over a six minute stretch during the second period.

Vladislav Namestnikov levelled the contest at one a piece before Nikita Kucherov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko found the net to give the Russians a 4-1 lead.

North America’s Morgan Rielly and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins then scored to set up a thrilling finish but with victory in sight Russia dug in deep.

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky turned out to be the Russian hero, making 43 saves and if he couldn’t get a hand to the puck – the post was a willing replacement.

Russia managed to keep their cool and held off the fast finishing North Americans for a 4-3 win.

In the final round of group matches Russia face Finland while North America take on Sweden with the top two in the table going through to the semis.

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