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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 9:04 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada opens 7-1 lead over Norway after two periods

Brayden Schenn scored his third goal of the game, giving him a team-leading five in three games of the World Junior Championship, just 44 seconds into the second period to extend Team Canada's lead to 7-1 over Norway through two periods at HSBC Arena.

Mario Lemieux and Simon Gagne hold the Canadian National Junior Team record for most goals in one game at the WJC with four apiece.

The Canadian National Junior Team entered Wednesday's game against Norway with 10 forwards, six defensemen and a new goalie between the pipes.

For at least one period, it made no difference.

Casey Cizikas and white-hot Brayden Schenn scored goals in the opening 4:50 of the period and goalie Mark Visentin turned aside 15 shots when Team Canada opened a 6-1 lead over winless Norway. In a bizarre twist, Norway outshot Canada, 16-15, in the opening 20 minutes.

Schenn, who scored 5 points on Tuesday to spark Canada to a 7-2 victory over Czech Republic, had 2 goals and one assist, while Marcus Foligno, Louis Leblanc, Erik Gudbranson and Louis Leblanc each had a goal and one assist.

Canada captain Ryan Ellis notched an assist on Gudbranson's blast from the right point at 10:45 -- giving him his 21st point (4 goals, 17 assists) in 15 World Junior Championship contests. Ellis has participated in the last three WJC. That ties him for the all-time lead among defensemen in the tournament with Finland's Reijo Ruotsalainen (9 goals, 21 points in 24 games) from 1977-80.

Norway had pulled within 4-1 when Rasmus Juell connected at 13:35 -- eight seconds after Leblanc had extended the lead for Canada.


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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 8:41 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada opens 6-1 lead over Norway

The Canadian National Junior Team entered Wednesday's game against Norway with 10 forwards, six defensemen and a new goalie between the pipes.

For at least one period, it made no difference.
 
Casey Cizikas and white-hot Brayden Schenn scored goals in the opening 4:50 of the period and goalie Mark Visentin turned aside 15 shots when Team Canada opened a 6-1 lead over winless Norway. In a bizarre twist, Norway outshot Canada, 16-15, in the opening 20 minutes.
 
Schenn, who scored 5 points on Tuesday to spark Canada to a 7-2 victory over Czech Republic, had 2 goals and one assist, while Marcus Foligno, Louis Leblanc, Erik Gudbranson and Louis Leblanc each had a goal and one assist.
 
Canada captain Ryan Ellis notched an assist on Gudbranson's blast from the right point at 10:45 -- giving him his 21st point in 15 World Junior Championship contests. That ties him for the all-time lead among defensemen in the tournament with Reijo Ruotsalainen (21 points in 24 games).
 
Norway had pulled within 4-1 when Rasmus Juell connected at 13:35 -- eight seconds after Leblanc had extended the lead for Canada.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 6:53 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Finland wins second straight; 5-1 over Germany

An opening-game loss to the U.S. National Junior Team certainly hasn't kept Finland down.

In fact, for at least one night, the Finns are in sole possession of first place in Group A after having quietly strung together two straight triumphs, including Wednesday's 5-1 victory over Germany. Finland, which has played one more game than the U.S. (2-0-0, 5 points), is virtually assured a second-place finish following preliminary-round action in Group A of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The U.S. scored a 3-2 overtime victory over Finland on Sunday.

Finland, which is 2-0-1 with 6 points through three games, will play Slovakia on Friday before the start of the medal round on Sunday. The U.S., which is scheduled to play Germany (0-2-1) on Thursday, will close out its preliminary-round schedule on Friday against Switzerland (NHLN-US, 8:00 p.m. ET).

Finland received goals from  Joonas Nattinen, Miikka Salomaki, Joonas Donskoi and Jesse Virtanen before Germany finally connected -- a spectacular right-handed dangle 3:28 into the third by 2011 draft eligible prospect Tobias Rieder. Nattinen, who now has a team-leading 3 goals in three tournament games, and Donskoi are both prospects of the Florida Panthers.

"We're getting to know each other a little better every day," Finland captain Sami Vatanen said. "We never played much together before the tournament, but it's starting to come together. We want to win a medal; it's been a long time."

Donskoi's goal at 13:47 of the second was followed by a goal just 1:32 later by Virtanen's tally, forcing Germany to replace starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer (24 saves, 28 shots) for Niklas Treutle (15 saves, 16 shots) for the second time in three games.

Calgary Flames prospect Joni Ortio turned aside 28 shots in making his third straight start in goal for Finland. Minnesota Wild prospect Eric Haula closed out the scoring for Finland 16:07 into the third.

Finland outshot the Germans, 44-29. Detroit Red Wings' future star Teemu Pulkkinen (2 assists), who has 4 points in the tournament, and Haula led the way with six shots apiece. Julius Junttila also chipped in with two assists.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 2:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Suspensions flying at World Juniors

Zack Kassian's two-game suspension for his hit on Slovakia's Petr Senkerik wasn't the only penalty dished out by the IIHF today.

A pair of Slovakia players will spend time watching, rather than playing, following their actions during Tuesday's game against the U.S. Peter Hrasko will sit for three games, and Martin Marincin was banned for four.

Hrasko was assessed a match penalty for a hit to the head and neck area of U.S. forward Jerry D'Amigo 6:42 into the game. According to the IIHF release: " Hrasko deliberately targeted the head of the American player, using his elbow and upper arm to deliver the blow and causing D’Amigo to be thrown violently into the boards. As a result, D’Amigo struck his head against the glass, sustaining an injury."

The match penalty carries with it an automatic one-game suspension. Today, IIHF head disciplinarian Dan Marouelli tacked on two extra games.

Midway through the third period, Martin Marincin received a match penalty for his hit on U.S. forward Jason Zucker, and his one-game suspension had three games tacked on. Marouelli ruled Marincin's hit on Zucker, "was a premeditated act as the puck had long left the vicinity of the play. Marincin took advantage of a defenseless and unsuspecting opponent and deliberately targeted the head and neck area, resulting in an injury to Zucker."

While D'Amigo was able to continue Tuesday, Zucker was knocked out of the game and his status for Thursday's game against Germany is unknown.
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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 11:55 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada's Kassian to miss next two games

International Ice Hockey Federation tournament disciplinarian Dan Marouelli has levied an extra one-game suspension on Team Canada forward Zack Kassian for his second-period hit on Czech Republic defenseman Petr Senkerik on Tuesday.

Kassian will miss Wednesday's game against Norway and, now, Friday's big matchup with unbeaten Sweden. He was ejected from his team's 7-2 victory at the 5:53 mark of the second when his shoulder connected with the chest and neck of Senkerik. He was assessed a match penalty, which brought with it an automatic one-game suspension.

Marouelli announced this morning that he had doubled the punishment.

Senkerik was removed from the ice via a stretcher and, following numerous tests, returned to his hotel late Tuesday night. He was held out of the team's practice Wednesday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 11:41 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

De Haan out for Canada?

Canada already will be without forward Zack Kassian for their next game, and they also might be without defenseman Calvin de Haan.

De Haan was forced to leave the game early in the second period with what TSN is reporting is a leg injury after he was hit hard into the boards by the Czech Republic's Michal Hlinka. De Haan limped to the bench and headed directly to the dressing room.

De Haan, taken by the New York Islanders with the 12th pick of the 2009 Entry Draft, isn't the only Isles prospect hurting -- U.S. forward Brock Nelson was held out of tonight's game with an upper-body injury. Nelson was taken by the Isles with the 30th pick of the 2010 Draft.

And at last year's tournament another Islanders prospect, defenseman Travis Hamonic suffered a serious shoulder injury playing for Canada.

Canada definitely will be without Kassian, who received a match penalty for a hit in the second period. Mike Morreale has all the details here.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 9:46 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

U.S. opens big lead on Slovakia

The U.S. National Junior Team has a 6-1 lead on Slovakia through two periods in preliminary-round action of the World Junior Championship at HSBC Arena.
 
Kyle Palmieri scored a pair of goals in the first period when the U.S. held a 22-1 advantage in shots on the Slovaks, who were coming off an inspiring 2-1 overtime decision against Germany on Monday. In that victory, Slovakia goalie Dominik Riecicky made 47 saves. Against the United States, however, Riecicky was pulled in the second period in favor of Juraj Holly after yielding six goals on 42 shots.
 
Charlie Coyle and Chris Brown scored goals in the early stages of the second period before Slovakia finally connected on Tomas Jurco's goal. The U.S. quickly re-established its dominance, though, scoring twice more in a span of 3:25 to take a five-goal advantage into the third period.
 
The U.S. holds a 43-11 advantage in shots. Goalie Jack Campbell, who made 32 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory against Finland on Sunday, has 10 saves.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 9:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Sweden nearly finished with Russia

While most eyes are watching the U.S. and Slovakia, another group is at nearby Dwyer Arena watching one of the premiere game of Group B between Sweden and Russia.

As the game winds down, it looks like Sweden will keep pace with Canada, while Russia will fall to 0-2.

The game turned in a 3:22 span in the second half of the first period, as first Anton Lander and then Jesper Fasth scored. Robin Lehner has been perfect in goal.

Playing Canada and Sweden right off the hop was a tough draw for Russia, and it makes their final two games of the preliminary round -- against Norway on Thursday and the Czech Republic on Friday -- must-wins.

We'll be back with more later when the game ends.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 4:55 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada leads Czechs, 2-1, after first period

After spotting the Czech Republic an early lead, Team Canada settled down to connect for two power-play goals in the later stages of the opening period to grab a 2-1 lead into the first intermission at HSBC Arena.

Brayden Schenn scored off a shot from the left circle that beat Czech Republic goalie Filip Novotny between the legs at 14:43 before Jaden Schwartz fired home an attempt, from low in the left circle, that entered the long side at 16:40. Team Canada outshot the Czech Republic, 14-2, in the first.

Schenn also assisted Schwartz' power-play goal and defenseman Ryan Ellis chipped in with 2 assists.

Antonin Honejsek had given the Czech Republic a 1-0 lead just 49 seconds into the period when he picked up a loose puck and snapped a shot from the left circle that clipped the long-side catching glove of Olivier Roy, into the cage. It marked the second time in two games the Canadians yielded the opening goal of the game. Team Canada defeated Russia, 6-3, on Sunday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 3:07 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Finland shuts out Switzerland in Group A match

Joonas Nattinen, Jaakko Turtiainen, Teemu Pulkkinen and Julius Junttila had goals and Joni Ortio made 15 saves as Finland earned its first win of the 2011 World Junior Championship with a 4-0 victory against Switzerland on Tuesday at HSBC Arena.
 
Nattinen, a 2009 third-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, connected in the first period as Finland held a 17-5 advantage in shots. Nattinen, who has 2 goals in two games, was named Finland's Player of the Game. Switzerland goalie Benjamin Conz, who was the top goalie of the 2010 WJC, finished with 34 saves and was named Swiss Player of the Game.
 
Turtiainen struck 4:37 into the second to extend the lead to 2-0. Pulkkinen, a 2010 fourth-round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings, and then Junttila connected in a span of 3:14 in the third to close the scoring.
 
Finland, which played extremely well in a 3-2 overtime loss to the U.S. on Sunday, continued its strong, aggressive approach in every zone against Switzerland. Switzerland was coming off a 4-3 victory against Germany -- a game they led 4-0 before allowing Germany back into the game. 
 
Finland goalie Joni Ortio, a 2009 fifth-round pick of the Calgary Flames, needed to make just 15 saves to record his first WJC shutout. Ortio started for Finland at last year's tournament.
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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic