Russia desperately needed a win in the IIHF World Junior Championship.
It got one in a rout.
With five goals in the third period and a dominating performance from the second period on, Russia beat Norway, 8-2, at Dwyer Arena on Thursday night.
It was the first win of the tournament for Russia and one in which its offense finally seemed to click. Russia had scored a combined three goals in its previous two losses.
"We started to play as our coach said; not to move to the corners, just to let our players shoot and play smart," forward Danil Sobchenko said through a team translator. "We feel like we are capable to score goals like we showed in the third period and hopefully we can bring the same to [today's] game [against the Czech Republic]."
The teams traded goals in the first period. Russia got on the board first when Nikita Dvurechenski scored on a rush.
Norway tied the game when Nicholas Weberg jumped on a giveaway in the Russian zone and drilled a shot past goaltender Dimitri Shikin.
Just 55 seconds later, Russia regained the lead as Sobchenko put in a rebound that Norwegian goaltender Lars Volden failed to control. But a power-play tally by Jonas Oppoyen knotted the game at 2-2 by the end of the first.
Russia took the lead for good in the second on a goal by Vladimir Tarasenko. The margin should have been wider heading into the second intermission as Russia dominated in shots on goal, 30-9. Volden made several impressive stops, particularly on a late Russian power play, to keep Norway within striking distance.
But Russia pounded out goals in the third, starting just 18 seconds into the period on Sobchenko's second of the game.
"It was difficult for two periods but in the third period the whole thing started to go well," Sobchenko said. "We need to be more patient, maybe, and to find our game."
They certainly found their game in the third as Maxim Kitsyn, Andrei Sergeyev, Yevgeni Kuznetsov and Artyom Voronin all tallied to ensure not just the win but the confidence boost heading into today's final game of the preliminary round against the Czech Republic at 7 in Dwyer Arena.
Norway finished the preliminary round of play with no points, four losses and the worst goal differential -- minus-23 -- in the tournament.