Finland edged Sweden 2-1 to finish second in the Euro Hockey Tour tournament. Sweden, which led going into the final day, finished third, while the Czech Republic remained winless.
Russia, a two-time defending tour champion, also won the Ceska tournament in the Czech Republic in September and the Karjala Cup in Finland in November and secured a place in the final for the third consecutive time.
Neither team managed to score in the first period, but Petr Schastlivyi scored off Igor Volkov’s pass at 1:25 into the second period for Russia. It was Schastlivyi’s fifth goal in three Euro Hockey Tour events this season.
“We expected them (the Czechs) to play defensively,” Russia coach Vyacheslav Bykov said. “They had several scoring chances but our goalie played perfectly and then we managed to open the scoring.”
Morozov, a former Pittsburgh Penguins winger, made it 2-0 on a power play midway through the second.
“We stuck to our defensive tactics in the first period, but we slowed down in the second and could not challenge our opponent,” assistant Czech Republic coach Pavel Marek said.
In the third period, Nikolai Kulemin scored from the circle and Morozov added one more from close range to make it 4-0 with 10 minutes to play.
Jaroslav Bednar scored a consolation goal for the Czech Republic on a power play about a minute later.
Kim Hirschovits put Finland in the lead on a power play at 12:44. Finland had eight minutes of penalties early in the second period and Johan Akerman finally capitalized to level 1-1 midway through the second period.
But Janne Pesonen restored Finland’s lead, scoring off Mika Pyorala’s pass with 25 seconds to play in the second period.
Sweden pressed for an equalizer in the third period and goalie Ari Ahonen had eight saves. Sweden then pulled goalie Erik Ersberg with 30 seconds to play but failed to capitalize.
Russia leads the tour standings with 23 points, followed by Finland with 13. Sweden is one point behind Finland, and the Czech Republic remained last with six.
The fourth event – the Swedish Hockey Games – is scheduled for February. The two best teams will then decide the tour title in a two-leg final in April.
The Channel One Cup, a successor of once famous Izvestia Cup, was played at the Khodynskoye Pole arena, which will host the world championship next year.