Canada rolls over Russia to reach World Cup final


Toronto (Canada) (AFP)

Brad Marchand scored twice and Sidney Crosby finished with a team-high three points as Canada rallied to beat Russia 5-3 on Saturday in the semi-finals of the World Cup of Hockey.

Sergei Bobrovsky was brilliant in goal for Russia who led 2-1 at one point late in the second period but couldn't stop the Canadian juggernaut from battling back with three unanswered goals in the first half of the third to take command.

Canada advances to the best-of-three final series where they will play the winner of the other semi between Sweden and Team Europe.

This was the latest chapter in the dynamic rivalry between the two most successful nations in hockey history which lately has been dominated by the Canucks. Team Canada extended its winning streak in best-on-best events to 14 straight, dating back to a 5-3 loss to USA in the early rounds of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic men's hockey tournament.

Marchand broke a 2-2 tie with a goal just 76 seconds into the third period on an assist from Crosby and just 22 seconds after Bobrovsky had robbed him with a glove save. Bobrovsky finished with 42 stops.

Marchand also scored the tieing goal on another assist from Crosby -- Canada's top player and the leading scorer of the tournament with seven points.

The line of Crosby, Marchand and Patrice Bergeron proved to be unstoppable Saturday as they finished the game with a combined seven points in front of the pro-Canadian crowd at the Air Canada Centre arena in Toronto.

Marchand, who plays for the Boston Bruins of the NHL, had a crack at a hat trick in the final seconds but his shot at an empty net just missed to the left.

Team Europe, which didn't exist until a few weeks ago, plays Sweden in the other semi-final on Sunday. The championship series kicks off on Tuesday in Toronto.