Russia gives Canada a lesson
by Martin Merk|18 JAN 2020
Matvei Michkov led Russia to a win over Canada by scoring two of his team’s first three goals.
photo: Vedran Galijas /
The men’s ice hockey tournament of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games started with a bang as Canada saw itself paired against Russia.

Already early in the second period the games was virtually decided when the Russians built up a 5-0 lead. Russia’s fast start was a lesson for the Canadians, who recovered but eventually lost 6-2.

In the early minutes the teams didn’t allow each other many scoring chances but Canada’s second penalty proved costly. Ilya Kvochko sent a puck towards the net where Matvei Michkov was waiting to open the scoring at 6:43.
During a counter-attack it was the Russians who had to help themselves with a penalty against Daniel Grigoriev and again a goal was scored – but it was a shorthanded one from the Russians. Speedy captain Ivan Miroshnichenko escaped with the puck along the left boards and surprised the Canadian defence with a drop pass to the right side where Ruslan Gazizov stood ready to score.

And as it if were not enough, Michkov used Russia’s next power play for his team’s next goal to make it a 3-0 lead. Just 92 seconds later Gazizov worked on his second marker when skating to the net. While the puck didn’t go in, Vyacheslav Malov capitalized on the rebound.
We prepared a long time for this game and wanted to win and we did it.
Matvei Michkov
Russian forward
“We beat Canada, we played well and worked hard for this win. Of course we didn’t expect the beginning to be like that with four goals in the first period. We played disciplined, played as one unit,” said Michkov.

Russia’s goal galore and goal scoring reminded of the preliminary-round encounter between the two countries exactly three weeks ago at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship where Russia gave Canada a painful 6-0 lesson. (On a positive note for Canada, they learned their lesson and beat Russia in the gold medal game eight days later.)

The Russians were precise, had strong team play and were ready for rebounds to be able to score on the Canadians in what some would call the “Canadian way” in Russia.

“The game wasn’t what we wanted and we’re hoping for a big bounce-back tomorrow,” said Canadian team captain Matthew Savoie. 

“I think we got caught flat-footed, we weren’t dedicated to our Canadian principles, our discipline, and that needs to improve greatly. I think with the group we have the ability to improve that and come back strong.”

The second period didn’t start much better for Canada. Once Russia had its first power play, it increased the lead to 5-0. Goaltender Dylan Ernst, who came in for Vincent Filion, blocked Michkov’s shot but Kvochko was there to score on the rebound. But one minute later Adamo Fantilli put Canada on the scoreboard after a horizontal pass through the Russian defence from Paul Ludwinski. At 9:33 defenceman Denton Mateychuk brought Canada one goal closer with a precise shot.

The game became more balanced as Canada tried to get back but the Russians remained strong on defence and Vyacheslav Malov scored the late 6-2 goal after a giveaway.

The Russians will have a day off and can secure first place in the group stage in their last game against Denmark. The Canadians will play Denmark tomorrow in a must-win game to be able to reach the semi-finals.
Canada vs. Russia - 2020 Youth Olympic Games (Men)