January 14 - Sochi 2014 hosts Russia continued preparations for their assault at a home gold medal by sweeping aside the challenge of Sweden in the opening match of the International Ice Sledge Hockey Tournament in Podolsk today.
The reigning World Championship bronze medallists impressed home fans by knocking eight goals passed a shell-shocked Swedish side who could only muster one goal in reply.
The Lillehammer 1994 champions had no answer to the attacking prowess of the Russians, who hammered home their superiority through two goals apiece for Dmitry Lisov and Alexey Lysov, with Andrey Dvinyaniov, Nikolay Terentyev, Igor Lomakin and Illian Volkov also finding the back of the Swedish net.
Per Kasperi's solitary strike did nothing to hide the gap between both sides at the end.
The other two teams in the tournament played out an altogether more closer affair which eventually saw Norway, who claimed gold at Nagano 1998, overcome the Czech Republic 2-1.
Michal Geier's strike for the Czechs was cancelled out by Klakegg Jon Roger and Svee Stig Tore, to get the 2004 world champions off to a winning start in Podolsk.
With all four teams set to appear in Sochi, this week's tournament provides ideal preparation for the main event which is due to get underway in March.
The action in Podolsk continues through until Thursday (January 16).
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2014: US and Canada to go head to head in ice sledge hockey series ahead of Sochi 2014
November 2013: Top teams gear up for Sochi 2014 with World Sledge Hockey Challenge
October 2013: Ice sledge hockey's Ones to Watch named for Sochi 2014
August 2013: Russia push world champions close at Four Nations ice sledge hockey tournament
July 2013: Teams announced for Sochi 2014 ice sledge hockey test event