MOSCOW, September 2 (R-Sport) — Russia suffered its second defeat at the opening round of the 2013-14 four-nation Euro Ice Hockey Tour on Sunday, losing 2-1 to the Czech Republic.
The Czechs recovered after two straight defeats and wrap up their home event in third place along with Sweden. Russia finishes second due to a better goal difference.
Czech Republic’s Jakub Petruzalek scored the winner with six minutes to the final buzzer, as he intercepted disastrous pass by Evgeny Kuznetsov and hit the right top corner with a perfect wrist shot.
The Czechs opened the score at 24:00 as Roman Cervenka, who also plays as forward for KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg, found himself on the crease all alone and managed to beat Russian goaltender Vasily Koshechkin from the third attempt, hitting a corner of the goal that was by then empty.
Russia equalized at the very end of the second period thanks to a Lokomotiv Yaroslavl duo, as forward Yegor Averin converted Sergei Plotnikov’s pass from behind the net.
Earlier in the day, Finland destroyed Sweden 5-0, registering a perfect 3-0 record with a superb 10-1 goal difference.
The Euro Hockey Tour is a four-stage tournament between Russia, the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden, with each country taking a turn as host.
It has special significance this year as a warm-up event for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
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