|2012 U20 World Junior Championships (Canada) |
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||Unflappable Andrei Makarov earns rave reviews for play in goal |
Lorne Molleken and the Saskatoon Blades tried their very hardest not to miss an appearance by Team Canada at the 2012 world junior hockey tournament.
That included last week's heartbreaking 6-5 semifinal loss against the fiery Russian squad at Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome.
But, of course, their interests were also invested considering their No. 1 goalie - Andrei Makarov - was thrown in to save the day against the Canadians, who were down 6-1 at one point.(Calgary Herald article by Kristen Odland) READ MORE
||Russian forward Nail Yakupov hurts knee at world juniors|
SARNIA, ONT.— Nail Yakupov
’s return to the Sarnia Sting is on hold after he suffered a knee injury at the world junior hockey championship. The player expected to be taken first overall in the upcoming NHL draft will have an MRI exam this weekend, according to agent Igor Larionov. READ MORE
||Sweden sweeps Russia, gets the Gold Medal|
A monstruous 57-save performance by goalie Andrei Makarov wasn't enough for Russia as the forwards simply didn't manage to put the puck on the net and Sweden deservedly grabbed the Gold Medal with a 1-0, OT win over Team Russia thanks to a goal by Islanders top prospect Mika Zabinejad. "It would have been not honest if we won the game", admitted after the game Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals)
, who was awarded with MVP, Best Forward and Tournament's All-Star Team honors. In spite of Sweden's dominance during the whole game, the game's top chance was probably a late third period rush by Team Russia: Kuznetsov danced through the rink with the puck on his blade just to feed the rushing Nikita Gusev
with a great pass, but the Red Army players' one-timer was stopped by goalie Johan Gustafsson with a monumental save. Team Russia will have a chance to get revenge at home next year, as 2013 WJC will be held in Ufa, Russia.
||Russia stuns Canada, 6-5|
CALGARY – Yevgeni Kuznetsov had three goals and an assist to lead Russia to a stunning 6-5 victory over the home Canadians to earn a date with Sweden in the gold-medal game. Russia will try to repeat as champions for the first time since 2003-04 while Sweden hopes to win for the first time since 1981. Canada will play Finland for the bronze medal. Both games are on Thursday. The Russian win ends an incredible run of ten straight appearances by Canada in the gold-medal game. The last final game without Canada was 2001 when the Czechs beat Finland, 2-1. (IIHF.com article by Andrew Podnieks) READ MORE
||Uninspired Team Russia defeats Czech Republic, will face Canada|
Team Russia had to struggle a lot to defeat a hard-fighting Team Czech Republic led by goalie Petr Mrazek, who was instrumental in his team's performance with 43 saves. But Team Russia could count on a stellar Andrei Vasilevsky: the 2012 draft eligible goalie stopped 38 out of 39 shots and got yet another W for the Mother Land in this tournament.
The highly touted forward line didn't deliver much in this game as all the big guns were left out of the score sheet. Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals)
did have some good rushes, including an one-on-one situation in the first period which sensationally wasn't a goal as his shot, after deking out Mrazek, hit the post and flew outside of the rink. Also Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning)
didn't show much special, but he managed to make himself forgiven for his late third period penalty setting up the game winning goal by defenseman Grigory Zheldakov. The first goal for Team Russia was scored by Daniil Apalkov
in the second period, with assists coming from Sergey Barbashev and blue liner Zakhar Arzamastsev
, among the best defensemen of the game with Nikita Nesterov (Tampa Bay Lightning)
. Team Russia will now face Canada in the semifinals. The more quoted guys have to step up and use their finishing ability. In particular Nail Yakupov
should try and finally score a goal as he's still got a zero in the goals scored cell on the stats, something unexpected for a player who might go first overall in the next NHL draft. Most likely Mikhail Grigorenko
will have to sit out the game.
||Russia moves on to face Canada|
CALGARY – It’s on, baby! On Monday, Russia advanced to a World Junior semi-final clash with host Canada, defeating the Czech Republic 2-1 in a tense, tactical quarter-final. Grigori Zheldakov scored the overtime winner on a slapshot at 1:30 of overtime. "Their goalie [Petr Mrazek] played a great game, but he is human," said Zheldakov. "This is a very emotional win, and it’s very emotional to score a goal like this."
(IIHF.com article by Lucas Aykroyd)
||Russia - Latvia 14-0, Nine-point night for Kuznetsov|
CALGARY – Russian captain Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals)
dazzled with three goals and six assists as Russia pulverized Latvia 14-0 for its third straight win. The defending champions tightened their grip on first place in Group A, while the Latvians head for the Relegation Round. (IIHF.com article by Lucas Aykroyd) READ MORE
||Russia skates past Slovakia with a 3-1 score|
After winning the first game against Switzerland, Team Russia kept staying perfect with a 3-1 win over Team Slovakia. Bragin's team opponents actually managed to go 1-0 with a late first period goal, but the Russians stroke back in the second period with a blue line slap shot by Igor Ozhiganov.
The third period was the key one: five minutes after its start Mikhail Naumenkov made it a 2-1 game with a nice wrister - again from the blue line - after Ignat Zemchenko
won a faceoff in the offensive zone. "It was pleasant to score such an important goal. It was unexpected", Naumenkov declared after the game.
The Russians sealed the deal later on with a goal by Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning)
, who tipped in a beautiful pass from behind the net by Mikhail Grigorenko
. Andrei Makarov earned a W with a 31-save performance. Team Russia will face Team Latvia on December 30th.
||Skillful Russians blank Swiss in WJC debut|
CALGARY – There’s no Nureyev or Baryshnikov on the roster, but this year’s Russian World Junior team sure can dance. Russia opened its defence of its world title on Boxing Day, beating Switzerland 3-0 with three beautiful goals.
Alexander Khokhlachev, Nikita Gusev
, and Mikhail Grigorenko
scored for Russia, which features just one returning player from 2011: captain Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals)
. The talent level on the 2012 edition, however, may be even higher. (IIHF.com article by Lukas Aykroyd) READ MORE
||Team Russia 2012 WJC Preview|
The reigning WJC champions, Team Russia is once again a contender for the Gold Medal in 2012. After last year's triumph, Russia will bring to Alberta a team which looks even better than last year's one on offense, but with bigger question marks between the pipes and on the blue line.
The Subway Super Series showed this as Valery Bragin's team appeared extremely good on offense, but not as much on defense and when it came to goaltending. Last year's squad could count on Igor Bobkov (Anaheim Mighty Ducks)
, but this year it doesn't seem to be present a goalie of this caliber and this, of course, can be a problem for a contending team. (Hockey's Future.com article by Alessandro Seren Rosso) READ MORE
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