Slovakia, who got the better of Kazakhstan 4-0 in their semi-final, gave the Russians a fight, for the majority of the game and it was only after a scoreless first period that the hosts managed to assert themselves. A goal by Maksim Dzhioshvili gave them the lead, but Slovakia fired back less than two minutes later through Sebastian Smida to make it 1-1.
The score remained tied until the second minute of the third period, when Dmitry Kolgotin scored what would ultimately be the winner and gold medal winning goal for Russia.
In the bronze medal match earlier in the day, Canada defeated Kazakhstan 3-0. Aidan Wallace, Daniel Del Paggio and Stephen Harper all scored in the win for Canada who claimed came third for the third time in a row, whilst Kazakhstan went without a medal for the first time since 2013.
Russia’s women’s ice hockey team made it a double for the hosts as they sealed a third successive Winter Universiade title in a row beating Canada 2-0.
In an equally close battle Russia had to wait until the third quarter to go in front when Liana Ganeeva scored during a power play. As the game wore on, Canada took out their keeper and replaced her with a sixth player in an attempt to equalise. However it was Russia who countered and Alevtina Shtareva finished off the game with 10 seconds to go by taking advantage of the Canadians pushing forward to score into an empty net for 2-1.
In the bronze medal match, Japan beat the USA 2-1.
There was also joy for Japan in the final cross-country skiing competitions as Naoto Baba took gold in the battle for the last set of medals on offer.
It came in the men’s 30 kilometre freestyle mass start, which is regarded as one of the most challenging distance in cross-country skiing.
Baba had no such problem as he pulled ahead in the first few kilometres of the race, along with some members of the Russian national team, Slovak skier Jan Koristek and Kazakhstan’s Olzhas Klimin.
By the middle of the race the group of leaders thinned out but Baba was still heading the race followed by Ilya Poroshkin, Kirill Kilivniuk and three-time champion of the Winter Universiade 2019, Ivan Yakimushkin.
However, even five kilometres before the finish it was clear that Baba was too far ahead of his pursuers for them to challenge him for gold, and he sailed through to the finish line in a time of 1:10.20,92.
Kilivnyuk came in second for silver in a time of 1:10.51,73 with Poroshkin taking bronze in third in 1:10.56,7.