Russia demoted, Finns finish fifth

Czechs control game and Japanese miss chance

03.04.2010
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Seven Bridges Ice Arena Woodridge Illinois United States

Finland's goalie Susanna Airaksinen lunges to make the save on Japan's Chiho Osawa. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Finland-Japan 4-1 (1-0, 1-0, 2-1)

CHICAGO--Finland can leave Chicago with a small measure of satisfaction after defeating Japan 4-1 in the fifth-place game. The result puts Japan in sixth place. Earlier in the day the Czechs finished seventh and Russia eighth.

Finland scored a goal in each of the first two periods, but the never-say-die Japanese got one back early in the third on a power play. That was as close as they got, however. Finland closed the game out with two late goals, the last into an empty net by Susanna Tapani with six seconds left.

Japan had 17 shots on goal the entire game while Finland had 41.

Russia-Czech Republic 1-3 (0-1, 0-1, 1-1)

The Czech Republic defeated Russia 3-1 in the second game of a best-of-three Relegation Round, clinching the series and relegating Russia at the WW U18 Championship for 2011. This marks the first time a Russian hockey team of any sort at any level has been demoted since the nation began competing internationally in 1954 (as Soviet Union).

The Czechs got the only goal of the opening period despite incurring five straight penalties and having two 3-on-5 situations against. But the Russians simply didn’t have the ability to move the puck around quickly enough to test goalie Veronika Hladikova, and soon after the teams were at full strength Denisa Krizova gave the Czechs the lead, scoring at exactly 10:00 of the period.

Krizova made it 2-0 in the second, and soon after Anna Prugova was replaced by Margarita Monakhova in the Russian net.

Lucie Povova made it 3-0 early in the third to put the game out of reach. Elina Mitrofanova got Russia’s only goal in the final minute when the result was no longer in doubt.

ANDREW PODNIEKS
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