South Korea was routed by the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) team 8-1 in its final men's hockey tune-up game before the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Saturday.
Former National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist, while Nikita Gusev scored twice for OAR in the game at Anyang Ice Arena in Anyang, just south of Seoul. Brock Radunske managed South Korea's lone goal in the first period.
Both South Korea, coached by former NHL defenseman Jim Paek, and OAR will compete in the Olympics.
This was the fourth and the final game for South Korea before the start of the Olympic men's tournament. South Korea lost to 17th-ranked Kazakhstan 3-1 last Saturday, but avenged the loss with a 3-0 win two days later. South Korea then fell to 15th-ranked Slovenia 2-1 on Thursday.
OAR came out attacking from the start, with South Korea barely managing to keep the opponent off the board. South Korea finally cracked at 14:58, when Nikita Gusev walked in alone on goalie Matt Dalton and beat him high on the glove side.
And just 15 seconds later, OAR doubled the lead on Mikhail Grigorenko's goal. Pavel Datsyuk, former NHL All-Star center, dug the puck out of the corner and fed Grigorenko for a slap shot in the slot.
Radunske put South Korea on the board with 1:02 left in the period, with second-line center Cho Min-ho doing all the work. Cho held off former NHL blueliner Vyacheslav Voinov as he circled around the net and made a backhand pass to Radunske, who then put a low shot past Vasili Koshechkin.
OAR added two goals in the middle frame to put the game out of reach. Sergei Andronov scored off his own rebound, 3:07 into the period, with Grigorenko getting the assist for his second point of the game.
OAR killed off a South Korean power play and then scored a power play marker of its own at 13:35, as Kirill Kaprizov's one-timer made it 4-1.
The rout was on in the third period. OAR went up by 6-1 about six minutes into the final period with Datsyuk's low shot from between the face-off circles. At 13:31, Yegor Yakovlev made it 7-1 by coverting a brilliant pass Grigorenko that found its way through traffic.
Gusev rounded out the scoring, with 3:53 left with his second of the night, and Paek pulled Dalton out of the game to save him from further misery.
South Korea, ranked 21st, is in Group A with world No. 1 Canada, No. 6 Czech Republic and No. 7 Switzerland.
The host nation's first game is against the Czechs on Thursday. After that will be Switzerland next Saturday and then Canada, two-time reigning Olympic champion, the following day.
All games will be played at Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung, host of all ice sports, located just east of PyeongChang. South Korea is scheduled to have its first practice there from 7 p.m. Sunday. (Yonhap)