Today on the 18th of March, the Russian Olympic (B) national team played their first of two friendly matches against South Korea.
With just one year until the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation had the opportunity to check out the Olympic facilities. Two days ago, an RIHF delegation, headed by executive director Dmitry Kurbatov, visited Seoul before making their way to PyeongChang. There, they looked over the Olympic village, inspected at both ice hockey stadiums and met with the Olympic organising committee.
In the evening, the Russian B team, made up of players who aren't competing in the KHL Gagarin Cup playoffs, competed in a friendly match against the South Koreans at the 2018 Olympic arena. Despite work still continuing on the stadium, the ten thousand capacity rink was half full. There were also small pockets of Russian supporters.
South Korea don't have a high ice hockey status, but they musn't be underestimated. Their team is largely made up of players from the Anyang Halla team, the winners of the Asia Hockey League regular season. South Korea also have several North American born players on their roster, including goalkeeper Matt Dalton who once played in the KHL for Vityaz and Neftekhimik.
Russia made the breakthrough in the first period, with Viktor Komarov finding the net on the powerplay. That advantage was increased in the second, as Vyacheslav Ushenin and Kirill Semyonov both got themselves on the scoreboard. However, out of nowhere, South Korea got back into the game. They ended up scoring three goals in a frantic third frame, but Russia B's 4:3 win was sealed by Vladislav Ushenin.
South Korea - Russian Olympic team - 3:4 (0:2, 0:1, 3:1)
0:1 Komarov (Shenfeld), 02.27
0:2 Kapustin (Ushenin Vladislav), 17.01
0:3 Semyonov (Leschenko), 30.09
1:3 An, 40.40
2:3 Kim Ki Sung, 49.06
2:4 Ushenin Vladislav (Kapustin, Ushenin Vyacheslav), 53.18
3:4 Regan, 56.52
Goalkeepers: Dalton - Ezhov
Shots on target: 22 - 27
Penalty minutes: 6 - 10
Faceoffs: 25 - 29
18.03.2017. South Korea.
Russian Ice Hockey Federation