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Russia extends lead to 5-1 after 40 minutes

Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 10:54 PM

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

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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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