Russia takes down Finland, will face Canada in World Cup semifinal

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The Russians got off to a slow start at the World Cup of Hockey, but a couple of solid performances have allowed them to advance to the semifinal.

On Thursday, Russia took down Finland 3-0 at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.

By winning the game, Russia knocked Team North America out of the tournament, which means they’ll have the unenviable task of taking down Team Canada in the knockout phase of the tournament.

Russia opened the scoring at the 3:42 mark of the second period when Alex Ovechkin set up Vladimir Tarasenko.

That’s a pretty sweet feed from Ovechkin:

Less than 1:30 later, Ivan Telegin doubled Russia’s lead.

Evgeni Malkin scored Russia’s third goal in the the third period.

If someone’s gonna take down Canada, they’ll need to get some fortunate bounces and they’ll need their best players to play at an elite level.

Beating Canada definitely won’t be easy, but one thing going for Russia is that goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is in the zone.

The Blue Jackets goalie was solid in his team’s 4-3 win over Team North America earlier this week. He turned in another strong performance against Finland this afternoon, as he turned aside 21 shots in the win.

“We played against (Canada) in the preseason game and obviously it was a huge mentally game for us,” Ovechkin told Sportsnet after his team’s win over Finland. “For us, we play against (Canada) almost every time. It’s no secret that they’re gonna be very aggressive, they’re gonna play a very physical game. We just have to play our style of game and try to beat them.”

As for Finland, they’ll go home disappointed. They finished the tournament 0-3 and managed to score only one goal in the tournament.

Team Canada and Team Russia will face-off at the ACC on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. ET.