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2012 World Junior Championship

Canada can't flip script on Russia

Wednesday, 01.04.2012 / 1:33 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- It read like the perfect script.

After being down 6-1 with a little over 11 minutes remaining in the game, Dougie Hamilton scored. Then captain Jaden Schwartz. Brendan Gallagher followed. Brandon Gormley, too.
 
Staring at a five-goal deficit, four tallies in a span of 4:57 had brought Canada to within one of tying the Russians with a spot in the gold-medal game against Sweden at the World Juniors on the line.

After Russia scored five consecutive goals in the third period to snatch gold from Canada a year ago in Buffalo, the tables were teetering. 
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Russians hang on to beat Canada in wild 6-5 win

Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 11:44 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CALGARY -- After building a seemingly insurmountable lead, the Russian Junior National Team went into survival mode on Tuesday en route to a heart-pounding 6-5 victory against Team Canada in the semifinal round of the 2012 World Junior Championship at Scotiabank Saddledome.
 
How excited was Russian captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov when asked if the victory proved, once and for all, that Russia is the better team?
 
"We just won and that question has become clear, so we're stronger than Canada," he said. "We're happy. I'm glad that Canada will not win gold this year."
 
Russia opened a 6-1 advantage 7:54 into the third period, only to have Canada storm back but ultimately fall one-goal short. It was an all-too familiar scenario for Canada, which once again paid the price for not playing a full 60 minutes against an aggressive and quick Russian squad. In the 2011 gold-medal match against the red machine, Canada yielded five third-period goals in an eventual 5-3 loss.
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Sweden tops Finland in semifinal shootout

Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 8:09 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY – Sweden's not finished yet.

Max Friberg saved his best for last -- twice -- as he scored the tying goal with just 1:44 remaining in regulation before adding the shootout winner to lead the Swedes to a 3-2 victory against Finland at Scotiabank Saddledome.

With the victory, Sweden has advanced to the gold-medal game of the World Junior Championship on Thursday against either Canada or Russia.

Friberg beat Finnish goalie Sami Aitookallio through the legs and Mikael Granlund fumbled the puck before getting to goaltender Johan Gustafsson to give Sweden the win in the shootout.
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Team USA routs Latvia to avoid WJC relegation

Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 3:25 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CALGARY -- While there were no grand goal celebrations or high-fives, the U.S. National Junior Team instead took a businesslike approach on Tuesday in scoring a 12-2 victory over Latvia in the opening game of the relegation round at the 2012 World Junior Championship at Scotiabank Saddledome.
 
The victory officially spares the U.S. from being relegated and earned them a ticket into the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia. 
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Swedes, Finns renew rivalry in semifinal

Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 1:25 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- There will be a little extra emotion in the air as two rivals itching to earn the opportunity to win gold at the 2012 World Junior Championship will battle it out in semifinal action.

In this case it's not Canada and Russia, though. We're talking about Sweden and Finland.

On Tuesday, the border foes with meet in the semifinal of the 2012 World Junior Championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome at 5 p.m. ET. The winner will earn an opportunity to strike gold against either Canada or Russia on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. 
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CAN-RUS rematch sees berth in WJC final at stake

Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 10:37 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CALGARY -- It's a good thing players on the Canadian National Junior Team aren't making a big deal out of the rematch that most Canadian fans have patiently waited 12 months to sink their teeth into.
 
On Tuesday, Team Canada will meet Russia in the semifinal round of the 2012 World Junior Championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome, 7 p.m. ET. The winner earns a one-way ticket to the gold medal game against either Sweden or Finland on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.
 
Excited? Well, you kind of get the feeling Russian captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov could care less.
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Player performance fell short for USA at World Juniors

Tuesday, 01.03.2012 / 10:24 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"I think as we finish this tournament and look at it, it comes down to the fact the performance wasn't what all of us expected. Do we have to look at some of the makeup of the team? Certainly. But it comes down to performance on the ice and we didn't get that performance." -- Jim Johannson

CALGARY -- Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, pointed to one area of concern when assessing Team USA's disappointing finish in pool play at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
 
"Player performance," Johannson told NHL.com.
 
The U.S. National Junior Team entered the WJC with its usual high expectations, and instead failed to advance into the medal round of the tournament for the first time in 13 years. Three successive losses in preliminary-round action forced the United States into the relegation round for only the second time in its history. The only thing at stake now is pride along with, at best, a possible seventh-place finish.
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Russia beats Czech Republic in OT

Monday, 01.02.2012 / 11:49 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CALGARY -- On a night when the Russian Junior National Team and Czech Republic decided to play a little pond hockey on the way to combining for 84 shots, the last rip taken by Russia defenseman Grigori Zheldakov proved to be the difference on Monday night in a stirring 2-1 victory during quarterfinal-round action of the 2012 World Junior Championship at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Zheldakov, Russia's player of the game, ripped a shot from between the circles that beat Czech goalie Petr Mrazek 1:30 into overtime.

The game was certainly highlighted by superb play in goal by Mrazek (43 saves), Czech's player of the game, and Russia's Andrei Vasilevski.
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Finns hope to avoid déjà vu, advance to semifinals

Monday, 01.02.2012 / 10:33 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

CALGARY -- The Finnish National Junior Team has seen this script before, and the ending wasn't too memorable.
 
It was only last year when Finland advanced to the quarterfinal round of the World Junior Championship after nailing down the second seed in its pool with 10 points, via three wins and one overtime loss.
 
They opened the medal round against Russia and jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but ultimately lost the game. The Russians scored twice in the final 3:41 of regulation to tie it before Evgeny Kuznetsov ended it 6:44 into overtime.
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Russia set to chase gold the hard way, face Czechs

Monday, 01.02.2012 / 10:26 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

When Sweden stunned Russia in a come-from-behind New Year’s Eve overtime thriller, it eliminated the possibility of a gold medal rematch from last year’s World Junior Championship.
 
But that doesn’t mean a clash between Russia and Canada can’t happen in 2012.
 
If Russia can survive a quarterfinal match-up against the Czech Republic Monday, it will meet Canada in the semifinal.
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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins