Dominant Russia out to seal gold
The 2012 champions have been the standout team in Belarus, winning all seven of their group matches before cruising into the final.
Even with star Alex Ovechkin battling a knee injury, Russia have coped and enter the final at the Minsk-Arena as favourites.
Viktor Tikhonov has enjoyed a good tournament with seven goals and eight assists to be easily the points leader at the event with 15.
With six goals and as many assists, Sergei Plotnikov has been similarly impressive.
Ovechkin has set up seven goals and scored three, but admitted he is still below full fitness after hurting his knee against Germany on May 18.
“I had a new knee brace and felt much better,” he said after Russia’s semi-final win over Sweden.
“I can”t say I am 100 per cent, but the situation is such that one must be ready for anything. We have one game left and we must do everything to make sure we win.”
According to Ovechkin, Russia goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been the player of the tournament.
The Columbus Blue Jackets goalie has conceded just seven goals while making a remarkable 148 saves.
“He is the best player of the tournament and it is not an accident he is considered the best goalie in the NHL,” Ovechkin said.
“No matter how we play he is always at his best and always carries us on. I think he may be the MVP here.”
In Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, Finland have a player who can perhaps keep Russia at bay.
Finland are two-time gold medallists, with the last of those coming in 2011.
In the bronze medal match, reigning champions Sweden face a Czech Republic side looking to win the consolation match for the third time in four years.
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