Russia’s men’s hockey team beat Slovakia 1-0 in a shootout, just a day after America beat them in a shootout in front of President Vladimir Putin.
The only gold medal that matters to the hosting country is hockey, and right now the men’s team is not showing the drive to step on the podium. They had too many troubles with Slovakia, a team that was demolished 7-1 by America and gave tiny country Slovenia their first Olympic win. In fact, America played Slovenia at the same time and easily beat them 5-1.
Russia did not push through until the third period when they outshot Slovakia 15-2. One Russian player shot the puck, but it hit the crossbar and then the post. It barely missed crossing the goal line. Just a few minutes later another shot clanked off the post. Russia’s frustrations started to show and they applied more pressure on goalie Jan Laco, but he stopped all the shots.
In overtime, star Alex Ovechkin almost won it for Russia after Laco stopped a shot and deflected it to Ovechkin, who stood in front of the empty right side. However, he was denied when defenseman Andrej Meszaros threw himself in front of the puck.
The shootout was easily won by Russia. Alexander Radulov and Ilya Kovalchuk easily scored on Laco for the victory.
Now Russia must wait until after Canada vs. Finland to find out if they will play a qualifying game.