[world hockey] Russia again denies Canada gold

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Russia rallied to beat Canada 2-1 and win the world hockey championship Sunday, their second successive final victory over the same opponents.

Ex-Spit Jason Spezza gave Canada an early lead but Oleg Saprykin equalized in the first period and Alexander Radulov fired the winner five minutes from the end of the second.

The Russians, who won last year's final 5-4 in overtime on Canadian soil to win the trophy for the first time in 15 years, survived a tense third period to frustrate their opponents again.

Russian goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov saved 37 out of 38 shots while Canada's Dwayne Roloson faced only 17 shots all evening.

Russia's Ilya Kovalchuk was named player of the tournament (MVP).

"We know the way they play, and they know the way we operate," Radulov said. "I think we started the game better than they did, but by the second period they got more shots. Our goalie was outstanding."

Canada coach Lindy Ruff said: "We didn't take advantage of our opportunities and they did. Bryzgalov didn't make any mistakes or let us back in the game."

Canada dominated the second period, outshooting their opponents 16-5, as Martin St. Louis and Dan Hamhuis forced Bryzgalov to make difficult saves.

But Russia went ahead with five minutes left as Radulov finished off a two-on-one by collecting Konstantin Gorovikov's pass, firing past Roloson and indulging in a stick-twirling celebration.

Earlier Sunday, Sweden doubled Team U.S.A. 4-2 in the bronze-medal game, earning its first medal since winning gold in 2006.

Team U.S.A.'s medal drought extends to 2004.

Tony Martensson collected a goal and an assist, while Mattias Weinhandl made two assists for the Swedes' confident win.

"It's good to win a medal at the world championship but we didn't perform our best playing here," Martensson said. "We should play against Canada the way we were playing today."

The United States and Sweden began playing in lively fashion and were trading threats from the starting face-off and created a hatful of scoring chances in the first period.

However, the rivals failed to open the score.

Los Angeles Kings defender Jack Johnson broke the deadlock 5:14 into the second beating Sweden goaltender Stefan Liv with a powerful slap shot from the blue-line on power play.

San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski levelled the game at 2-2 two minutes into the third period but Swedish blue-liner Carl Gunnarsson restored his side's narrow lead slapping in through the traffic at 49:00.


Tim Thomas stopped 19 shots for his first NHL playoff shutout to help the Boston Bruins keep their season going with a 4-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday night.

Phil Kessel scored twice and Zdeno Chara gave Boston a big emotional lift when he returned in the third period after leaving the ice in the second when he was slashed by Jussi Jokinen.

Chara and Marc Savard each had a pair of assists for top-seeded Boston, which had lost three straight playoff games.

Cam Ward made 36 saves for the Hurricanes, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.

Game 6 is at Carolina Tuesday.


With Chicago on a power play and the puck on Patrick Kane's stick, David Bolland found a soft spot behind the Canucks defence and trusted the puck was coming.

The hardest part was waiting for it.

When the puck finally arrived, Bolland patiently gathered it and then snapped a shot past the stick of a diving Roberto Luongo and into an empty net. The goal with 5:05 left gave the Chicago Blackhawks the lead they turned into a 4-2 victory over Vancouver Saturday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal series.

After Canucks forward Ryan Johnson failed on a great chance to clear the zone, and with defenceman Willie Mitchell missing his stick, Kane walked off the right boards and looked off Luongo before finding Bolland open on the backdoor.

"Kane just stepped off the boards and saw me open and threw a little saucer, and I knew it was going to get to me. Roberto couldn't get over that quick," Bolland said.

"I didn't want to mishandle it. I just wanted to make sure."

Martin Havlat added an empty-net goal with 62 seconds left, and Chicago took a 3-2 edge over the Canucks in the series.

The Blackhawks can advance to the conference finals today (9:30 p.m., CBC) at home.


The Pittsburgh Penguins can say they have outplayed the Washington Capitals and had the perseverance to overcome a two-game deficit to take the series lead.

However, Sidney Crosby will be the first to admit that the Penguins are ahead because the puck was deflected into the net by a Capitals player in overtime. Twice.

Evgeni Malkin's pass to Crosby was broken up by sliding defenceman Tom Poti, who then helplessly watched the puck sail past goalie Simeon Varlamov 3:28 into overtime Saturday night, giving the Penguins a 4-3 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

"These games come down to mistakes and bounces," Crosby said. "And we got a good bounce there on the last goal."

The Penguins overcame a third-period deficit and survived Alex Ovechkin's tying goal late in regulation before winning on Malkin's power-play tally, which came with one second remaining in the advantage.

Malkin drew a tripping penalty on Milan Jurcina that stopped a possible breakaway.

"It's always hard when you play in overtime and you allow a silly goal like this," Varlamov said through an interpreter. "That's twice now . . . But winners make their own luck."

Jordan Staal, Ruslan Fedotenko and Matt Cooke also scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for the Penguins, who have won three straight after dropping the first two.

They can advance today (7 p.m., CBC, TSN) in Pittsburgh.


Cody Hodgson will be wearing a Manitoba Moose jersey within the next few days.

The Vancouver Canucks' top prospect, whose Brampton Battalion team was eliminated in the Ontario Hockey League final Friday by the Windsor Spitfires, was contacted by the Canucks Saturday and will travel to Winnipeg to join the Moose in their playoff run.

Hodgson, who was named the OHL's player of the year and received numerous other accolades this season, said he's excited about his first taste of AHL action.

"I'll be a new experience for me," Hodgson said.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it. I know the players will be a little bigger and a little faster. It'll be an adjustment."

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