Through two periods on Saturday night it looked as if Sergei Bobrovsky was going to give Russia a real chance to steal their World Cup semifinal game against Canada.
At that point he was still almost single handedly holding off a relentless Canadian offensive zone push and keeping his team in the game.
And then Canada finally kicked the door down in the third period on their way to a 5-3 win to advance to the World Cup final.
Canada will now play the winner of Sunday’s Sweden-Team Europe game in a best-of-three championship series to determine the winner of the tournament. That series will begin on Tuesday night.
Even though the score was tied through two periods on Saturday and the outcome of the game was still very much in doubt, this was still a pretty dominant performance from Canada from start to finish.
They completely shut down the Russian power play (which was abysmal throughout the entire tournament) and spent most of the night playing in the Russian end of the rink. They ended up finishing the game with a commanding 47-34 edge on the shot chart, and had it not been for a spectacular goaltending performance from Bobrovsky this game could have easily been even more lopsided on the scoreboard. Don’t let the five goals against fool you when it comes to Bobrovsky’s performance, either. He really was great.
The final score is simply a testament to just how good this Canadian team is, and how good it was on Saturday in all phases of the game.
They were great defensively, while the top line of Sidney Crosby, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron combined for three more goals in the win, including a highlight reel individual effort from Crosby in the first period to open the scoring.
Corey Perry and John Tavares also added goals for Canada to help them build a 5-2 lead before Artemi Panarin added a goal in the closing seconds for Russia to help make the score look a little closer than the game actually was.
Since the start of the 2014 Olympics, Team Canada is now 10-0 in best-on-best tournaments and has outscored its opponents by a 36-9 margin in those games.
It is going to take an incredible effort from either Sweden or Team Europe to beat them two times over the next week.