While the Russians may have faced more adversity than in previous games, they yet had most of the game under control from an early goal to begin with until celebrating the tile following a 4-0 victory against the American rival in a sold-out Vaudoise Arena.
“We prepared ourselves well for the tournament at our base in Novogorsk. That’s what helped us to perform so well. We had very good discipline, we just had one penalty. We played most of the time at equal strength or on the power play. That’s one reason,” said head coach Vladimir Filatov.
The pairing was the dream final after the previous games and one with Olympic history. Both Russia and the United States have won all games, most of them by clearly outscoring their opponents especially thanks to the first lines and the scoring talent of players like Russia’s Matvei Michkov, who came in followed by linemates Ivan Miroshnichenko and Ilya Kvochko in scoring, and Team USA’s Isaac Howard, who came in on par with Michkov in goals at the tournament.
The Russians allowed the United States few scoring opportunities in the first period and had the game firmly under control. With 33 seconds left before the first intermission they went up 2-0. A shot from captain Miroshnichenko went past Silverstein’s pad and Michkov was there to push it over the line.
Asked about this, he said: “It’s because of my linemates, my team and people supporting me so I can play hockey. I will present my medal to my parents when I’m back because thanks to them I’m here.”
In the second period Russian goaltender Sergei Ivanov was tested a bit harder than in the previous games and had more opportunities to show his skills.
Shots were 8-8 in the middle frame but more importantly it remained Russia only that scored goals. After Silverstein had blocked a Michkov shot during a Russian power play, Ruslan Gazizov capitalized on the rebound to put Russia up 3-0 at 6:46 and make the Americans’ task of a comeback even more difficult.
The Russians also came out strong into the third period trying to nip American dreams of a comeback in the bud. A breakaway goal at 5:13 increased the Russian lead to 4-0. Adel Safin sent a cross-ice pass to Vyacheslav Malov, who waited at the blue line to score.