Russia won the world championship Sunday by defeating Slovakia 6-2 in Helsinki. Alexander Semin of the Washington Capitals scored two goals and had an assist in the rout. Russia scored three times in the second period to take control.
Alexander Pereszhogin, Alexei Tereshenko, the Detroit Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk and tournament MVP Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored the other goals. Russia, the champion in 2008 and 2009, regained the title after finishing fourth last year. (AP)
Gesink wins Tour of California Dutchman Robert Gesink won the Tour of California, just eight months after breaking his leg in a training accident. He beat Dave Zabriskie by 46 seconds for the title. The final stage from Hollywood to Los Angeles was won by Peter Sagan of Slovakia, says STLtoday.com.
Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings suffered an early exit at the hands of the Nashville Predators, while Evgeni Malkin's Pittsburgh Penguins were bounced in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers. The Washington Capitals' talented Russian duo, Alexander Semin and Alexander Ovechkin, were also eliminated. They fell to the New York Rangers one round after knocking off the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. While the four staples of the Russian roster combined to drop 15 NHL playoff games this spring, Russia's skill players lifted the team to a perfect 10-0 record at this year's World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Russia and the Soviet Union now have a combined 23 gold medals at the event. Malkin, who was shut down in Pittsburgh's opening-round series against Philadelphia, was the leading scorer at the World Championships with 19 points. He became the first player since Wayne Gretzky (1982) to lead the tournament in scoring and capture the NHL's Art Ross Trophy in the same season, according to NESN.com.
Even before Sunday's victory, Russia cemented its place atop the IIHF's rankings. The results of the tournament also confirmed the groups for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
The Russians will be grouped with Slovakia and the United States. Group B will feature Finland, Canada and Norway, while the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland make up Group C. A fourth country in each group will come through final qualification next February, informs Yahoo! Canada Sports (blog).
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