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Russia beats Czech Republic 5-2 in Channel One Cup event

The Canadian Press
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Alexey Mikhnov of Russia, right, vies for the puck with Leos Cerman of Czech Republic during their Channel One Cup match, the second leg of the Euro Hockey Tour, in Moscow, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008. Russia won the match 5-2. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Misha Japaridze Author: The Hockey News

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Russia beats Czech Republic 5-2 in Channel One Cup event

The Canadian Press
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MOSCOW - World champion Russia beat the Czech Republic 5-2 on Saturday in the Channel One Cup, the second leg of the four-country Euro Hockey Tour.

Russia dominated the first period, with Maxim Sushinsky opening the scoring with a powerful wrist shot from the circle after 5:26. Danis Zaripov made it 2-0 at 16:25.

The Czechs rallied in the second, as Jakub Klepis converted a penalty shot after Ilya Nikulin was called for hooking that denied the Czech forward a one-on-one attempt. Metallurg Magnitogorsk forward Jan Marek, one of 11 players on the Czech team playing in the Russian Continental League (KHL) this season, then tied it on the power play 9:38 into the period.

But right-winger Alexander Radulov scored the winner four minutes later after a goalmouth scramble. Oleg Saprykin cemented the victory with five minutes remaining, coming out of the penalty box to take Radulov's long pass and beat goalie Miroslav Kopriva.

Denis Kulyash rounded out the scoring with a power-play goal with 39 seconds left. Kopriva made 27 saves, and Alexander Eremenko had 14 for Russia.

Russia, which won the world championship title in May for the first time since 1993, extended its unbeaten streak to 21 games since February.

Finland edged Sweden 2-1 in a shootout in the other game.

Mika Hannula put Sweden ahead at 12:47 but Teemu Aalto tied it for Finland with a slapshot from the point two minutes later. Neither team scored again before the best-of three shootout, where Finland scored on all three penalty shots and Linus Omark's miss for Sweden decided the game.

Russia, which won the Karjala Cup in November, leads the standings with six points after two games and has secured victory in the tournament. The Czech Republic has three points and is followed by Finland with two. Sweden is last with no points.

On Sunday, Russia takes on Sweden while the Czech Republic plays Finland.

The European Hockey Tour consists of four tournaments in Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Sweden.

The Channel One Cup is a successor of the Izvestia Cup, which started 41 years ago. It was later called the Baltika Cup and then the ROSNO Cup, and is now named after the state-run TV broadcaster.

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Russia beats Czech Republic 5-2 in Channel One Cup event