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Posted On Wednesday, 01.04.2012 / 4:56 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

IIHF suspends Canada's Jenner; Russia's Isanglulov

CALGARY -- The International Ice Hockey Federation announced on Wednesday that Canada forward Boone Jenner and Russian defenseman Ildar Isangulov will be suspended for their next game at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

As a result, Isangulov, who had no points in six games, will miss Thursday's gold medal game against Sweden at 8 p.m. ET. Jenner, who notched two assists in five games, will have to sit out his team's bronze medal game against Finland on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET

At the 15:44 mark of the second period of Russia's 6-5 semifinal-round victory over Canada on Tuesday, Isangulov elbowed Jenner and was whistled for a minor penalty. When Russian captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov made a comment to Jenner after the incident, Jenner speared him and received a five-minute major and game misconduct.

The International Ice Hockey Federation's disciplinary hearing determined, upon review, that Isangulov's elbow was to Jenner's head.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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Posted On Wednesday, 01.04.2012 / 4:17 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Latvia earns spot in 2013 WJC

CALGARY - The Latvian National Junior Team secured an invitation to the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship on Wednesday in dramatic fashion when Nikita Jevpalovs scored 1:43 into overtime to give his country a 2-1 victory over Denmark in the relegation round before 6,983 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

"It was sick," Jevpalovs told the IIHF website. "I only scored one goal in the tournament before, and to score one like this is a big deal."

Jevpalovs controlled a rebound off a shot taken by Robert Lipsberg and slipped his attempt between the legs of Denmark goalie Sebastian Feulk (29 saves). Kristers Gudlevskis stopped 22 shots for Latvia.

The victory enables Latvia to finish ninth at this year's WJC while Denmark places tenth. Denmark will be demoted to Division 1 in 2013, while Germany gets promoted for next year's tournament in Ufa, Russia. The other two relegation round teams, the U.S. and Switzerland, have already punched their tickets into next year's WJC. They will play 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday to determine the seventh-place finisher.

Denmark had taken a 1-0 lead 3:21 into the first when Oliver Bjorkstrand scored off a pass from Thomas Spelling before Latvia evened the score in the second at the 11:34 mark when Kristians Pelss ripped a one-timer eight seconds into a power-play.

"Right now there are not too many words to explain how bad our feelings are," said Denmark's Nicklas Jensen told the IIHF website. "That's not what we wanted. I think the game went quite well for both teams. Both teams had a lot of chances, but Latvia scored on a golden opportunity in the end. That's what won them the game. That's hockey."

Jensen, a 2011 first-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, was shaken up early in the third period when he crashed into the boards behind the Latvian net. Jensen did return to the game. Jensen led the Danes with 6 points, including 2 goals.  

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 8:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Canada and Russia ready for rematch at WJC

CALGARY -- Canadian fans has waited for a chance at redemption against the Russian National Junior Team in the medal round of the 2012 World Junior Championship all year.

They're now minutes away from getting their chance to root on their hometown heroes of the Canadian National Junior Team on Tuesday at the Scotiabank Saddledome in the tournament semifinal round.

In last year's gold medal clash, Russia scored five goals in the third period to take a 5-3 victory before a stunned Canadian contingent in Buffalo, N.Y. After earning an overtime victory on 38 saves on Monday against Czech Republic, Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevski will be right back between the pipes.

The Canadians are 10-7-1 in 18 decisions against Russia, winning five of the last six meetings.

The winner of the game will meet Sweden in the gold medal game on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.

Canada lineups:

G-Scott Wedgewood
Freddie Hamilton-Brett Connolly-Quinton Howden (Brandon Gormley-Dougie Hamilton)
Jaden Schwartz-Brendan Gallagher-Mark Scheifele (Ryan Murray-Scott Harrington)
Jon Huberdeau-Mark Stone-Ryan Strome (Jamie Oleksiak-Mark Pysyk)
Michael Bournival-Tanner Pearson-Boone Jenner (Nathan Beaulieu)

Russia lineups:

G-Andrei Vasilevski
Danil Apalkov-Yaroslav Kosov-Sergei Barbashev (Artyom Sergeyev-Zakhar Arzamastsev)
Nail Yakupov-Alex Khokhlachev-Yevgeni Kuznetsov (Viktor Antipin-Igor Ozhiganov)
Nikita Gusev-Nikita Kucherov-Mikhail Grigorenko (Grigori Zheldakov-Nikita Nesterov)
Pavel Kulikov-Ignat Zemchenko-Ildar Isangulov (Mikhail Naumenkov)

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 7:20 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Sweden rallies to beat Finland in shootout, 3-2

CALGARY -- Sebastian Collberg and Max Friberg scored in a shootout when the Swedish National Junior Team ralled for a 3-2 victory over Finland on Tuesday in the semifinal round of the 2012 World Junior Championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Friberg's shootout goal, through the five-hole, was the clincher for the Swedes, who also received a shootout goal by the first shooter of the session, Collberg. Joel Armia struck in the shootout for Finland.

Finland captain Mikael Granlund had an opportunity to even the shootout at 2-apiece, but he fanned while trying to move the puck on his backhand.

Friberg, property of the Anaheim Ducks, scored off a turnover with just 1:44 remaining in the third period to pull his team into a 2-2 tie.

Friberg gained his opportunity from prime position in the slot after teammate Johan Sundstrom leaped to snare an attempted clearing attempt along the glass by Finland goalie Sami Aittokallio.

William Karlsson pulled Sweden to within 2-1 on a power-play goal just 3:11 into the third.

Finland's Simo-Pekka Riikola was whistled for hooking at 2:38 and the Swedes would make him pay 49 seconds later when Karlsson drove the slot and had the puck deflect off his leg and behind goalie Sami Aittokallio.

Armia cored an unassisted goal with 4:30 remaining in the second period to give the Finns a 2-0 lead. Armia, who has been playing extremely well this year following a below average debut for Finland at the WJC in 2011, connected for his fifth goal.

Armia skated in on Swedish goalie Johan Gustafsson and snapped a shot that hit the iron to the goalie's left before deflecting into the net.

The Finns opened a 1-0 lead with 1:31 left in the first when Alexander Ruuttu converted a great pass from Miro Aaltonen at the right post. The Finns last reached the gold medal game in 2001. The Swedes last garnered gold in 1981.







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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 7:14 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Sweden evens score with Finland; teams set for OT

CALGARY -- Max Friberg scored off a turnover with just 1:44 remaining in the third period to pull Sweden into a 2-2 tie with Finland in the semifinal round of the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Friberg gained his opportunity from prime position in the slot after teammate Johan Sundstrom leaped to snare an attempted clearing attempt along the glass by Finland goalie Sami Aittokallio

The teams are now headed to a 10-minute overtime with four skaters aside. Sweden holds a 52-21 advantage in shots.
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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 6:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Sweden cuts deficit to 2-1 early in the third

CALGARY - William Karlsson has pulled Sweden to within 2-1 on a power-play goal just 3:11 into the third period.

Finland's Simo-Pekka Riikola was whistled for hooking at 2:38 and the Swedes would make him pay 49 seconds later when Karlsson drove the slot and had the puck deflect off his leg and behind goalie Sami Aittokallio.

Max Friberg had taken the intial shot.
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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 6:19 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Finland opens 2-0 lead over Swedes

CALGARY -- Can the Finnish National Junior Team pull off the first major upset of the medal round in the 2012 World Junior Championship?

The Finns find themselves one defensive period away from elminating Sweden from gold medal contention. Joel Armia scored an unassisted goal with 4:30 remaining in the second period to give the Finns a 2-0 lead. Armia, who has been playing extremely well this year following a below average debut for Finland at the WJC in 2011, connected for his fifth goal.

Armia skated in on Swedish goalie Johan Gustafsson and snapped a shot that hit the iron to the goalie's left before the disk deflected into the net. Finland goalie Sami Aittokallio stopped 20 shots in the second and has 34 saves for the game.

The survivor of the match advances to Thursday's gold medal game to face either Canada or Russia at 6 p.m. ET.

The Finns opened a 1-0 lead with 1:31 left in the first when Alexander Ruuttu converted a great pass from Miro Aaltonen at the right post. The Finns last reached the gold medal game in 2001. 
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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 6:13 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Finns cling to 1-0 lead midway through second period

CALGARY -- The Finnish National Junior Team is clinging to a 1-0 lead over Sweden midway through the second period of their semifinal round match in the 2012 World Junior Championship.

The Swedes are holding a 31-8 advantage in shots but haven't been able to solve goalie Sami Aittokallio. Mika Zibanejad, a first-round draft choice of the Ottawa Senators, had a great opportunity to even the score for for the Swedes with 7:41 left in the second, but was denied by Aittokallio.

Alexander Ruuttu's first-period goal with 1:31 on the clock remains to be the difference so far.
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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 5:45 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Ruuttu gives Finns 1-0 lead over Sweden after one period

CALGARY -- Alexander Ruuttu scored off a perfectly placed pass from Miro Aaltonen with just 1:31 remaining in the first period to give the Finnish National Junior Team a 1-0 lead over favored Sweden after one period of their semifinal round match in the 2012 World Junior Championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Aaltonen appeared as though he was going to curl behind the Sweden net with the puck but, at the last possible second, zipped a pass to Ruuttu, who popped home his third of the tournament to the left of goalie Johan Gustafsson.

The Swedes held a 14-6 advantage in shots in the opening 20 minutes. Sami Aittokallio turned back all 14 shots. Both coaches had no issues having their top lines matched against the other's until late in the frame.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 5:13 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Finland-Sweden drop the puck in WJC semifinal

CALGARY -- So the Swedish National Junior Team and Team Finland are on the ice here at Scotiabank Saddledome getting set for the opening faceoff in what should be a pretty entertaining contest in the semifinal round of the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Finland has been led by the top line of Teemu Pulkkinen, Markus Granlund and Mikael Granlund on offense. In goal will be Sami Aittokaillio.

The Swedes have received major contributions from Johan Larsson, Johan Sundstrom and Max Friberg. The trio of Filip Forsberg, Mika Zibanejad and Rickard Rakell has also been sharp throughout the tournament. The Swedes will start Johan Gustafsson between the pipes.

Sweden lineups:

G-Johan Gustafsson
J. Larsson-Sundstrom-Friberg (Klefbom, Brodin)
Nordstrom-Rensfeldt-Thorell (Granberg-Nemeth)
Filip Forsberg-Zibanejad-Rakell (Backman-Claesson)
Collberg-Karlsson-Rask-Boyce Rotevall (Klingberg)

Finland lineups:

G-Sami Aittokallio
Pulkkinen-Ma. Granlund-Mi. Granlund (Makinen-Hakanpaa)
Armia-Salomaki-Donskoi (Hovinen-Pokka)
Ruuttu-Aaltonen-Barkov (Riikola-Ristolainen)
Ma. Hannikaninen-Ro. Hamalainen-Kuronen-Paajanen

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