Team USA tops Russia at 2015 FINA World Championships (Video Highlights)

The USA Men’s Senior National Team hung on to beat Russia 7-6 in front of a packed house on the opening day of competition at the FINA World Championship. Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) and Luca Cupido (Newport Beach, CA/California/Newport) each scored three goals in the win while Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) recorded 14 saves in net. The match against Russia can be viewed later today on Universal Sports at 7pm pt/4pm pt. Team USA returns to action on Wednesday against Greece at 10:20am local time. The match will stream live on UniversalSports.com at 2:20am et/11:20pm pt (July 28). To access live streaming, click here for more information. The match will air on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt.

Russia struck first in this match on the first of three goals from Alexey Bugyachuk to ignite the crowd and grab a 1-0 lead. Team USA responded swiftly with a power play goal from and a counter attack goal, both from Azevedo, to surge ahead 2-1. John Mann (Newport Beach, CA/California/NYAC) capped the scoring with a goal late in the first for a 3-1 advantage. In the second period Bugyachuk delivered two more goals to even the match at 3-3 with :29 to play in the first half. Cupido had the last word in the period delivering with just three seconds to play to grab a 4-3 lead at halftime.

Midway through the third Azevedo delivered on the penalty shot and seemed to create some breathing room at 5-3. Russia quickly responded scoring two straight goals to tie the match at 5-5. Again Cupido came through late in the period finding the back of the net with just seven seconds to play for a 6-5 lead headed to the fourth.

(courtesy of Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com)

(courtesy of Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com)

With less than four minutes to play in the match Cupido struck again for his final goal, building a 7-5 lead. Russia would try one last rally, drawing to within one on a goal from Konstantin Stepaniuk to make it 7-6. Despite a few opportunities down the stretch Russia would get no closer and Team USA forced a turnover late in the match to seal the contest.

Team USA went 3/7 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots while Russia was 0/2 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot.

Scoring – Scoresheet

USA 7 (3, 1, 2, 1) L. Cupido 3, T. Azevedo 3, J. Mann 1
RUS 6 (1, 2, 2, 1) A. Bugyachuk 3, A. Odintsov 1, I. Nagaev 1, K. Stepaniuk 1
Saves – USA – M. Moses 14 – RUS – V. Ivanov 5
6×5 – USA – 3/7 – RUS – 0/2
Penalties – USA – 1/1 – RUS 0/0

Swimming News / Water Polo News courtesy of USA Water Polo.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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