Bobrovsky stands tall, leads Russia to important win over North America

Bobrovsky stands tall, leads Russia to important win over North America

The Score - NHL Hockey

What a game.

In easily the most entertaining matchup of the World Cup so far, Russia beat an upstart North America squad by a score of 4-3 in quite a spirited affair.

Auston Matthews kicked off the scoring off a mesmerizing rush and feed from Connor McDavid, much to the delight of a Toronto crowd looking forward to seeing the 2016 first overall draft pick in blue and white.

Russia appeared somewhat listless for much of the first half of the game, even failing to record a shot on two consecutive power-play opportunities.

But after sustained pressure in the North American zone, the Russians got on the board thanks to Vladislav Namestnikov, who benefited from a favorable bounce off Matt Murray's pads.

Just 50 seconds later, Nikita Kucherov scored quickly off the draw to give the Russians a second-period lead. The floodgates opened for a bit at that point, as Evgeny Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko scored shortly thereafter to cap a spree of four goals in 6:14 for a 4-1 lead, chasing Murray from the net in favor of John Gibson.

Morgan Rielly - who led all players with seven shots - scored with just over two minutes left in the second period to cut the lead to 4-2 after 40 minutes, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins brought his team to within one early in the third period with a power-play marker.

The Under-23 squad poured it on in the remaining minutes, outshooting Russia 18-4 over the course of the final frame, including several during two separate two-man advantages.

Sergei Bobrovsky played a massive part in his side hanging on for the win, stopping 43 of 46 shots.

Both teams have two points with one game each left to play: North America is set to face Sweden, while Russia will play Finland.

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