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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 11:28 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Russia up 6-5 on Canada in third period

CALGARY -- Trailing 5-1 heading into the third period, Canada has inched to within a goal of Russia in semifinal action at the World Junior Championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Canadians now trails 6-5 with four minutes remaining.

Dougie Hamilton converted a cross-crease pass from Mark Scheifele at 9:20. It was the first power-play goal Russia's allowed in the tournament.

Captain Jaden Schwartz struck in the same minute, cutting the lead to 6-3 after banking the puck in off Grigon Zheldakov at 9:43 of the third period.

Brendan Gallagher made it 6-4 after deflecting a point shot from Hamilton and Brandon Gormley's seeing-eye shot from the point has brought Canada to within a goal of tying the Russians.

Nikita Kucherov gave Russia a 6-1 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the third period.

Ignat Zemchenko stepped out of the box to set up a two-on-one with Mikhail Grigorenko. Zemchenko fed Grigorenko, who lost control of the puck cutting across the crease. Streaking in, Kucherov tapped the puck into a virtually empty net at 7:54.

Russia exploded for a three-goal second period to extend its lead to 5-1 against Canada.

Though Canada got on the board just 2:37 into the period to cut Russia's lead to 2-1, Yevgeni Kuznetsov answered with two goals of his own before setting up the third to give Russia a four-goal lead heading into the second intermission.

Kuznetsov scored goals 4:24 apart, first letting go a shot that hit the stick of a Canadian defenseman before going over the glove of starting goalie Scott Wedgewood, then beating Wedgewood again with a deke in alone.

After Kuznetsov's second goal, Yaroslav Kosov ploughed into Wedgewood, who had to leave the game with an injury.

Mark Visentin, the goaltender on record in the gold medal loss to Russia a year ago, didn't fare any better in relief.

Khokhlachev scored 1:48 later after Kuznetsov circled the net and found him alone in the slot for a power play goal to make it 5-1.

Russia opened the scoring in the first period. Kuznetsov took a pass from Nail Yakupov in the slot 7:26. Nikita Nesterov added to the lead at 14:01, the 2-0 lead Russia enjoyed heading into the second period.
 
If Russia is able to hold on through the game’s final 20 minutes, it will meet Sweden in the gold-medal game on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Sweden holds an overtime victory against Russia in a New Year's Eve classic last Saturday night.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 11:16 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Russia up 6-3 on Canada in third period

CALGARY -- Canada had its opportunity to build a slow climb over their 5-1 deficit. When the Canadians failed to do so, the Russians capitalized.

After its 26th consecutive penalty kill of the tournament, Nikita Kucherov has given Russia a 6-1 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the third period at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Ignat Zemchenko stepped out of the box to set up a two-on-one with Mikhail Grigorenko. Zemchenko fed Grigorenko, who lost control of the puck cutting across the crease. Streaking in, Kucherov tapped the puck into a virtually empty net at 7:54.

Back on the power play, Canada struck to make it 6-2.

Dougie Hamilton converted a cross-crease pass from Mark Scheifele at 9:20. It was the first power play goal Russia's allowed in the tournament.

Captain Jaden Schwartz struck in the same minute, cutting the lead to 6-3 after banking the puck in off Grigon Zheldakov at 9:43 of the third period.

Russia exploded for a three-goal second period to extend its lead to 5-1.

Though Canada got on the board just 2:37 into the period to cut Russia's lead to 2-1, Yevgeni Kuznetsov answered with two goals of his own before setting up the third to give Russia a four-goal lead heading into the second intermission.

Kuznetsov scored goals 4:24 apart, first letting go a shot that hit the stick of a Canadian defenseman before going over the glove of starting goalie Scott Wedgewood, then beating Wedgewood again with a deke in alone.

After Kuznetsov's second goal, Yaroslav Kosov ploughed into Wedgewood, who had to leave the game with an injury.

Mark Visentin, the goaltender on record in the gold medal loss to Russia a year ago, didn't fare any better in relief.

Khokhlachev scored 1:48 later after Kuznetsov circled the net and found him alone in the slot for a power play goal to make it 5-1.

Russia opened the scoring in the first period. Kuznetsov took a pass from Nail Yakupov in the slot 7:26. Nikita Nesterov added to the lead at 14:01, the 2-0 lead Russia enjoyed heading into the second period.

If Russia is able to hold on through the game's final 20 minutes, it will meet Sweden in the gold-medal game on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Sweden holds an overtime victory against Russia in a New Year's Eve classic last Saturday night.


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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 10:54 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Russia extends lead to 5-1 after 40 minutes

CALGARY -- Russia exploded for a three-goal second period to extend its lead to 5-1 against Canada in semifinal action in the World Junior Championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Though Canada got on the board just 2:37 into the period to cut Russia's lead to 2-1, Yevgeni Kuznetsov answered with two goals of his own before setting up the third to give Russia a four-goal lead heading into the second intermission.

Kuznetsov scored goals 4:24 apart, first letting go a shot that hit the stick of a Canadian defenseman before going over the glove of starting goalie Scott Wedgewood, then beating Wedgewood again with a deke in alone.

After Kuznetsov's second goal, Yaroslav Kosov ploughed into Wedgewood, who had to leave the game with an injury.

Mark Visentin, the goaltender on record in the gold medal loss to Russia a year ago, didn't fare any better in relief.

Khokhlachev scored 1:48 later after Kuznetsov circled the net and found him alone in the slot for a power-play goal to make it 5-1.

Russia opened the scoring in the first period. Kuznetsov took a pass from Nail Yakupov in the slot 7:26. Nikita Nesterov added to the lead at 14:01, the 2-0 lead Russia enjoyed heading into the second period.

If the Russians are able to hold on through the game's final 20 minutes, they'll meet Sweden in the gold-medal game on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Sweden holds an overtime victory against Russia in a New Year's Eve classic last Saturday night.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 10:21 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Russia extends lead in second period

CALGARY -- Canada got the push back they needed to start the second heading into the first intermission trailing 2-0.

The only problem was the Russians answered – twice.

Canada's Brett Connolly cut Russia's lead to 2-1, but captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov answered just two minutes later.

With a delayed penalty coming to Russia, Connolly jumped over the boards. He picked up the puck, cut through the faceoff circle and rifled a shot over the right shoulder of Russian starter Andrei Vasilevski just 2:37 into the period.

Kuznetsov responded at 4:24.

Taking a pass from Alexander Khokhlachev, Kuznetsov let go a shot that caught the shaft of Scott Harrington's stick and went over the glove of Scott Wedgewood to make it 3-1.

Russia extended the lead to three courtesy of Kuznetsov's hat-trick goal.

Both he and Nail Yakupov managed to get behind Canada's defense. Yakupov fed Kuznetsov, who cut to his backhand and lifted the puck over a sprawling Wedgewood at 8:48.
 
After the goal, Yaroslav Kosov plowed into Wedgewood, who suffered an injury on the play. Mark Visentin, who was in net for Canada a year ago against Russia in the gold-medal game, has come on in relief. 

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 9:49 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Russia gets jump on Canada, up 2-0 after one period

CALGARY -- Though Canada holds a 13-8 shot advantage over Russia, through one period the Canadians find themselves trailing 2-0 in semifinal action at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Yevgeni Kuznetsov has given Russia a 1-0 off a pass from Nail Yakupov in the slot 7:26 into the first period of their semifinal match against Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship.
 
After a turnover at the Russian blueline, Yakupov quickly darted up the ice and found Kuznetsov, beating Canadian starter Scott Wedgewood for the lead and silencing the capacity crowd at the Scotiabank Saddledome in the process.

Nikita Nesterov added to the lead at 14:01 on the power play. Grigori Zheldakov worked the puck over to the Russian defenseman, whose shot from the point beat Wedgewood glove side for the 2-0 advantage.

The first period unfolded in almost exact opposite nature as their gold medal game a year ago. In 2011, Canada staked themselves to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Ryan Ellis and Carter Ashton.

The survivor of this game moves on to face Sweden Thursday in the gold medal match. Sweden punched its ticket after a 3-2 shootout victory against Finland earlier Tuesday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 9:28 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Russia takes early lead on Canada

CALGARY -- Yevgeni Kuznetsov has given Russia a 1-0 off a pass from Nail Yakupov in the slot 7:26 into the first period of their semifinal match against Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship.
 
After a turnover at the Russian blueline, Yakupov quickly darted up the ice and found Kuznetsov, beating Canadian starter Scott Wedgewood for the lead and silencing the capacity crowd at the Scotiabank Saddledome in the process.

Though down, Canada holds a 9-5 edge in shots.

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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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