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Reaction after beating Finland at the 2021 World U18 Championship

06.05.2021
Following the 6:5 victory against Finland in the semi-finals of the 2021 IIHF World U18 Championship in the USA, under 18 Russian national team head coach Albert Leshchyov and forwards Ivan Miroshnichenko and Matvei Michkov shared their emotions:

Head coach Albert Leshchyov:

- Of course, we have positive emotions as a consequence of qualifying for the final. However, we needed to keep our concentration for the closing stages of the match, Finland got back into the game. Thank you to our guys for eventually keeping them at bay. The Finns continued to reduce our advantage? We had told the players that we required full concentration for the whole match. We had analysed how to play effectively when under pressure, and that plan worked especially well during the second period. We will now look at Canada's weaknesses and prepare for tomorrow's game.

Forward Ivan Miroshnichenko:

- The key factor today was our productive play on the powerplay, we took advantage of Finland's penalties. Our guys competed in a disciplined manner. Nikita Chibrikov's performance? He scored the goals we needed today, and he kept everyone in a positive mood on the bench with his leadership qualities. The coaches had warned us not to run into penalty trouble against these opponents. With the support of our fans, we will be fine against the Canadians.

Forward Matvei Michkov:

- We have to now prepare for the final, which will be staged against a strong opponent. It is a huge honour for all of us to represent our country in the final of a World Championship. Connor Bedard? Ice hockey is a team game, and Canada have an excellent team. They have a lot of talented players, not only Connor. Our goalkeeper Sergei Ivanov has played a big role in our run to the final, we are all very grateful to him. Hopefully, he will play just as well tomorrow. I'm second in the all-time scoring list behind Alexander Ovechkin? That doesn't matter, the main thing is that our team will win the gold medal.

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