May 9, 2013
France shocks Russia in massive upset at world championshipBeing compared to the 1980 'Miracle on Ice'
By QMI Agency
Well, if anyone in France is actually paying attention to the world hockey championship, that is.
France pulled off an upset for the ages Thursday in Helsinki with a 2-1 win over top-ranked Russia — yes, Russia — in preliminary-round play at the Hartwell Arena. The result ended Russia’s 13-game winning streak at the world championship and was France’s first in six meetings between the teams.
“It’s fantastic to beat the defending champions and the best players in the world,” French coach Dave Henderson told the IIHF website. “It’s so big for French hockey it’s hard to describe.”
Damien Fleury and Antoine Roussel scored for France (2-2) while Florian Hardy, starting ahead of Cristobal Huet, stopped 28 shots. Alexander Perezhogin scored the only goal for Russia (3-1) while Alexander Radulov was stopped on a penalty shot.
Once the buzzer sounded, French players celebrated like they’d just won the Stanley Cup. Not surprising, given that the Russian roster is sprinkled with NHLers and France is ranked 13th in the world.
But there is a caveat. Russia started backup goalie Vasili Koshechkin instead of Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche and didn’t dress New Jersey Devils sniper Ilya Kovalchuk.