Nikolai Prokhorkin and Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals each to lead the Olympic Athletes from Russia to a 4-0 win over the U.S. and finish atop Group B on Saturday.
Nikolai Prokhorkin and Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals each and goalie Vasily Koshechkin stopped 29 shots to lead the Olympic Athletes from Russia to a 4-0 win over the U.S. on Saturday.
With the win, OAR finished atop Group B and earned a bye into the quarterfinals of the men’s ice hockey tournament, while the U.S. heads to the qualification round of the tournament with its Tuesday opponent to be decided.
Games now turn to single-elimination, meaning the U.S.'s margin for error is razor-thin. Should they make it past Tuesday's game, the Americans will have to face one of the top-four teams in the tournament the following day on no rest.
Prokhorkin, a 2012 fourth-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, opened the scoring at 7:21 of the first period, slipping a slick feed from Sergei Mozyakin past American goalie Ryan Zapolski, and then doubled the lead with a glove-side wrist shot from the top of the circle at 2:14 of the second period. Kovalchuk made it a 3-0 score with a slap shot that went under Zapolski’s blocker in the final second of the frame.
The goal was the 11th of Kovalchuk’s Olympic career, passing Pavel Bure as the highest-scoring Russian Olympian of all-time. He added to that lead just 28 seconds into the third period and reveled in the victory, the first meeting between the Russians and U.S. since their epic six-round shootout in 2014.
"After the last game in Sochi, I think you guys are still showing the highlights of [T.J.] Oshie scoring those shootouts, right?" Kovalchuck told reporters after the win. "So hopefully you’re gonna change that now."