A Russian revolution

Thousands of Russian hockey fans poured into the streets in central Moscow yesterday after Russia...

Thousands of Russian hockey fans poured into the streets in central Moscow yesterday after Russia defeated Team Canada 5-4 in overtime of the gold medal game at the IIHF World Championship in Quebec City. (Sergei Karpukhin, Reuters)

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

QUEBEC CITY -- The Russians threw their gloves and helmets in the air, left their sticks littering the ice and headed to the corner to create a happy pile of players on top of Ilya Kovalchuk,who had tears in his eyes.

Remember when we saw Russians as being so stoic and emotionless?

Remember when we believed Canada had the market cornered on hockey heart?

Well, remember this.

The first Russian gold medal at the IIHF World Championship since 1993. Remember them coming back from down 4-2 to win it 5-4 at 2:42 of overtime on Kovalchuk's goal.

"God was on our side a little more than them," said Kovalchuk.

Remember when God didn't exist in the old Soviet Union?

The hockey gods definitely influenced this game, which was decided when Canada's Rick Nash put the puck over the glass in overtime and took a delay-of-game penalty that provided the Russians with a four-on-three powerplay.

"In overtime they take the penalty. That's the new rules. I don't know if it's good or bad. But it's good for us," said Kovalchuk.

"Kovalchuk scores for Russia!" wasn't the perfect ending for the Canadian crowd that grew up on the legend of "Henderson scores for Canada!"

Les Colisee Pepsi was filled to capacity with 13,338 fans charged with electricity before the game began.

HUGE OVATION

The Russians were greeted with a huge ovation from a remarkable number of fans who made the trip from their homeland.

Then they were drowned out by the Canadian fans, who were pumped up to witness the first gold medal final between the two nations in the entire history of the IIHF which celebrated it's 100th anniversary by bringing the tournament to Canada for he first time.

Much of the buildup to this game revolved around comparisons between the opposing top lines. And when Alexander Ovechkin sent a back-hand out front to Alexander Semin to score on the first shot on goal at 1:23, with Rick Nash, Dany Heatley and Ryan Getzlaf on the ice for Canada, it was Round 1 to Russia.

SEEING-EYE SHOT

But Team Canada, which to that point in the tournament had only trailed for 1:12 against Finland, managed to get back to even two minutes later on a seeing-eye shot from the point by Brent Burns.

Canada took a 2-1 lead on a play that probably should have been a tripping penalty to Eric Staal.

Maxim Sushinskiy went down and lost possession of the puck. Chris Kunitz was at the right place at the right time and took it in alone before blasting it past Evgeni Nabokov.

Burns scored his second on a 5-on-3 powerplay to give Canada a 3-1 lead and a 15-5 edge in shots on goal after 20 minutes, resulting mostly from five Russian penalties in the period.

In the second, with Patrick Sharp 10 seconds from getting out of the penalty box, Semin scored his second of the game to close the gap to a goal.

And while the only other goal in the sandwich session was Heatley's 12th of the tournament from the faceoff dot, it was goalie Cam Ward who was the man of the moment, stopping Ovechkin and Alexei Morozov on partial breaks before Heatley's goal and then making three big saves on the same play as the Russians took control and outshot Canada 12-8.

Ward made a huge save on a power play before Alexei Tereschchenko made it a one-goal game yet again.

The Sherwood Park native made a large leg save on Ovechkin, but Kovalchuk scored his first and jumped for the rafters when he tied the game at 14:42 - setting the stage for his overtime winner.

"This means a lot," said Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov. "It's been a long time coming."


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