By James Crook

Russia came close but ultimately lost out on penalties to world champions CanadaAugust 29 - Russia pushed world champions Canada all the way to a penalty shoot-out at the Four Nations ice sledge hockey tournament in Sochi, but ultimately lost out after being less than two minutes away from a shock victory.

Vadim Selyukin got the hosts off to a flying start at the Shayba Arena - which will host ice sledge hockey at next year's Winter Paralympics - netting twice to put the early pressure on the Canadians, who kept themselves within touching distance with a goal from Marc Dorion to make it 2-1 at the end of the first period.

But after a scoreless second period, again it was the Russians who came out firing, and they re-extended their lead to two thanks to Ruslan Tuchin early in the third as an upset began to look a possibility.

A quick response from Billy Bridges had Russia defending for their lives but they could not hold out to the end, as Greg Westlake levelled things up at 3-3 with less than just over a minute of regulation time remaining.

After a goalless overtime period, Westlake and Brad Bowden both converted their penalties but Selyukin was the only Russian that could find a way past Canadian goalkeeper Corbin Watson, ensuring another win for the world champions.

In the other game of the day, Norway were convincing 4-1 winners against the Czech Republic, goals from Rolf Pedersen, Morten Vaernes Klakegg and Knut Nordstog sending them on their way, whilst Jiri Berger netted the Czechs solitary reply.

These fixtures will now be repeated on Saturday (August 31) in the decisive game in this Sochi 2014 test event, with the Czech Republic facing Norway at midday local time and Russia looking to go one better against the world champions at 16:00 with places in the final up for grabs.

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