Kirill Marchenko had a monster game. Despite playing only 13:01, he managed to score twice and add three assists. "The team came in prepared and understood that this is a deciding game – it’s like the playoffs began two days early," he said. "I got a little lucky, but I could have scored even more! [Vasili] Podkolzin gave me about three good chances that I couldn’t capitalize on. Of course I’m happy – but we have to continue to work hard and get better."
The win advances the Russians to the quarter-finals on Thursday as well as the hosts Czechs. Canada and the United States had already qualified. For Germany, playing in the top level for the first time in five years, it will be a do-or-die series to qualify for Edmonton/Red Deer, Canada next year.
"It's a tough result, but to be honest, I don't think we were ready," admitted Germany captain Moritz Seider. "We had a tough start today, but the game is done, and now we have one goal left, which is to stay in the top division. We have to focus on the next two games."
Marchenko had a great chance early but was stoned by Hane, but the Russian forward made it 1-0 at 6:10. He tore down the right wing after a loose puck, blew by German defender Niklas Heinzinger, and fired a shot to the top corner over Hane’s shoulder.
Seven minutes later, Marchenko scored a lucky one after a period of extended pressure that saw the Russians make a full player change while maintaining possession in the German end. Marchenko fired a shot through the crease, but the puck went off the skate of German Leon Huttl and past a surprised Hane.
The Germans had several good scoring chances of their own but either shot wide or misfired every time.
The Russians poured it on in the second, scoring three times with an extra man (or two). Grigori Denisenko made it 3-0 with two extra men, one because of a penalty, another because of a delayed penalty which allowed goalie Yaroslav Askarov to go to the bench for an extra skater. That goal took the one German out of the penalty box but put the delayed penalty German in. Forty seconds later, on that second man advantage, Pavel Dorofeyev blasted a shot from the right side to make it 4-0.
Four minutes later, Dorofeyev got another on the power play, ensuring that the third period would be nothing more than a formality.
"We changed the strategy of our power play a bit and changed up the guys, and our power play just took off," Marchenko offered. "Nothing more to say. It’s good that we’re scoring and hope to score more."
Coach Tobias Abstreiter pulled Hane for Tobias Ancicka to start the third, and 38 seconds later he surrendered a goal off a nice tip by Dmitri Voronkov after a pass from Marchenko.
Nino Kinder broke Askarov's bid for a shutout at 17:43 off a bad line change and turnover at centre. He went in alone, and when Askarov tried the old Johnny Bower diving pokecheck, Kinder went around him and popped the pill into the empty cage.