In Moscow, the senior Russian national team completed the 2017 Channel One Cup campaign with a match against Finland. Russia had to win this game in order to win the competition, while the Finns were playing for pride. Ilya Sorokin and SKA's Mikko Koskinen were the starting goaltenders.
Determined to put on a show in front of a packed Legends Park, Russia made a strong start. The team's pressure was rewarded with a goal, as Sergei Andronov beat the unsighted Mikko Koskinen with a sneaky wrist shot. In the mood for more, it didn’t take long for Russia to double the advantage. SKA forward Nikita Gusev fed the onrushing Maxim Shalunov, the latter found himself clean through, and he confidently hit the target. Ilya Sorokin made a couple of excellent saves in net, including a superb blocker stop against Jani Hakanpaa’s slapper.
Predictably, Finland emerged a different team for the second stanza. The visitors took the initiative in the Russian capital, drawing penalties out of the Russians. Nevertheless, Ilya Sorokin was rock solid when called upon. The Russian goalkeeper shut the door on Veli-Matti Savinainen at point blank range, somehow catching the Finn’s powerful slap shot. Kirill Kaprizov had the best chance for Russia, contriving to send a one timer off target with the goal at his mercy.
Holding a two-goal lead, our players opted for a defensive approach in the third period. Russia were happy to sit back in defence, inviting the Finns to commit bodies to attack. Finland did create shooting lanes inside the Russian zone, however Ilya Sorokin comfortably dealt with the danger. Ilya Lyubushkin smacked the pipe late on, but it didn’t matter as Valery Nichushkin sealed the deal with an empty netter! 3:0, Russia defeat Finland in the final competition match.
As a result, Russia have won the 2017 Channel One Cup!
Russia – Finland – 3:0 (2:0, 0:0, 1:0)
1:0 Andronov (Zub), 08.06
2:0 Shalunov (Gusev), 12.19
3:0 Nichushkin (Grigorenko), 59.43
Goalkeepers: Sorokin – Koskinen
Shots on target: 28 – 23
Faceoffs: 20 – 19
Penalty minutes: 6 – 4
Referees: Frano, Jerabek
17.12.2017. Legends Park, Moscow.