No more nerves! Russia made it to the final of the Olympics

The Russian team beat Sweden in shootouts and reached the final of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing

Labor victory over Denmark in the quarterfinals, the departure of the Americans and Canadians from the Olympic tournament in Beijing. After these events, the Russian national hockey team received the Swedes in the semifinals. Aleksey Zhamnov’s team has never played against such a level of opponent at the Olympics.
The dismantled Czech national team, despite the victory over the Russians in the group stage, did not pose a danger, and our hockey players were obliged to beat the Swiss and Danes by status. The Swedish team, on the other hand, combined not only aggressiveness and the ability to impose a fight on every part of the court throughout the match, but also extreme efficiency in attack. The performance of CSKA forward Lukas Wallmark, who scored five goals in the previous four matches, is proof of this.
For Russia, the meeting with the Swedes was a real challenge. First, the fate of the medals was decided, or rather, their merits. The Russian team has one goal – gold, not a bronze battle with the Slovaks. Secondly, history played for the Scandinavians. For all the time of the Olympic tournaments in the knockout format, the Swedes have never lost in the semi-finals. In one of them, they also defeated the Russians: in 1994, the Swedish team dealt with the opponent without any problems, and subsequently won their first Olympic gold.
The corresponding mood of the Swedes was visible to the naked eye from the very beginning of the match in Beijing. Wards of Yukhan Garpenlev maximally cut off the oxygen to the Russians and did not give the opponent a single meter of free space to carry out at least one intelligible positional attack. From here followed the danger at the gates of Ivan Fedotov – it was really hot at his possessions, and a few moments could easily end in a goal. First, Fedotov was lucky that the puck hit the post after a series of rebounds, and then the CSKA goalkeeper himself neutralized the Swedish attack two on one. The projectile after the throw of Fredrik Olofsson was trapped.
Lars Johansson didn’t get bored either. For example, Nikita Gusev and Anton Slepyshev scored dangerous shots at the Swedish goal. Slepyshev, along with Dmitry Voronkov, was one of the most active among the Russians. His efforts in the debut of the second period helped the team to open an account. Anton picked up the puck during a chaotic counterattack, dragged it along the left side and, turning towards Johansson, skillfully outplayed the goalkeeper. To the last, he reached for the far post, but Slepyshev still made a loophole and pushed the puck into the goal. For the first time in the tournament, Garpenlev’s wards were the first to concede.
The goal only provoked the Swedes, who staged a very long assault on Fedotov’s possessions. The well-known Wallmark and even Theodor Lennström, who joined the attack, were especially active. Fedotov only managed to catch and beat the puck to the side. His teammates, realizing the degree of danger, were able to move the game to someone else’s goal by the break and did not let the opponent out of his zone for several minutes. The Russians had a chance to score in the majority, but according to the unfortunate trend in Beijing, they failed to use the “extra” again. Although Vyacheslav Voinov tried very hard to demonstrate his sniper skills, which the Danes had previously familiarized themselves with.

© / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to photo bankOlympics 2022. Hockey. Men. ROC match – Sweden

Olympics 2022.  Hockey.  Men.  ROC match - Sweden - 1920, 02/18/2022

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The Russians continued to press on the gates of Johansson in the third period. Almost in the very first attack, Vadim Shipachev almost brought the puck into the net with a neat shot from an acute angle. The Swedish goalkeeper was attentive. Unfortunately, another captain, the Swedish captain, managed to score with a goal. Anton Lander watched for a rebound on the penny after Fedotov reacted to the puck ricocheted off Henrik Temmernes and drove the projectile into an empty net.
In the next attack, the Swedes almost took the lead. Fedotov was shot twice at close range, so hard that the Russian goalkeeper lost his stick. From the ultra-high voltage, the defenders of the Russian national team naturally panicked, and Fedotov could not catch the puck. She bounced back and forth every now and then. Even the iron Alina Zagitova was nervous. Sitting on the podium of the press box, the famous Russian figure skater kept hitting the table with her fist, worrying about the hockey players.
It was necessary to restrain the pressure of the Swedes until the very overtime. In the extra 10-minute Russian hockey players under the leadership of Zhamnov to this day played only twice. Both attempts ended in defeat: from the Finns in the First Channel Cup and from the Czechs in the group stage of the Olympics. The Russians were close to the third failure, but Vladimir Tkachev and Alexander Nikishin, who backed up Fedotov twice in a row in moments of crisis, with their rescues reduced the showdown to a series of shootouts. It turned out to be victorious for Russia.
Nikita Gusev and Yegor Yakovlev responded with accurate shots to the goals of Wallmark and Nerdström. 20-year-old Arseniy Gritsyuk led Russia to the final!

© / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to photo bankPlayers of the Russian national team (ROC team) celebrate victory in the semifinal men’s hockey match between the national teams of Russia (ROC) and Sweden at the XXIV Winter Olympic Games 2022

Players of the Russian national team (ROC team) rejoice at the victory in the semifinal men's hockey match between the national teams of Russia (ROC) and Sweden at the XXIV Winter Olympic Games 2022-1920, 02/18/2022

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