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Russia evens series behind Kapustin hat trick

Friday, 08.10.2012 / 12:45 PM / Prospects

Karill Kapustin's hat trick highlighted Russia's 6-3 victory against Canada in the second game of the Canada-Russia Challenge Friday at Arena 2000 in Yaroslavl, Russia.

The four-game series between each country's top junior players is now even at 1-1. Games 3 and 4 will take place in Halifax, N.S., on Monday and Tuesday. Canada won the first game of the challenge, 3-2 on Thursday.

After a scoreless first period, Russia scored twice in the first 3:43 of the second period. Anton Zlobin delivered a power-play goal at the 38-second mark and Kapustin's first of the game a little more than three minutes later was also a power-play goal that put Russia ahead 2-0.

Murphy aims to put injury problems behind him

Friday, 08.10.2012 / 12:40 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Connor Murphy was selected as the 20th pick of the 2011 draft by Phoenix. (Photo: Getty Images)

Talk to Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney about Connor Murphy, the team's first-round pick in 2011, and he gets excited about the youngster's potential as a top-end NHL defenseman.

A 6-foot-3, 190-pound blueliner with the ability to quarterback a power play while also being a strong presence in his own end, Murphy is a smart player with solid bloodlines -- his father, Gord, played for four teams in 14 NHL seasons and has spent 10 seasons as an NHL assistant coach, the last three with the Florida Panthers.

But for the last three seasons, Connor Murphy hasn't had much of a chance to show people just what he's capable of doing.

Returning U.S. players on quest for redemption

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 8:57 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- They're not ready to call it Team Redemption, but for three members of the U.S. squad that finished seventh at the 2012 World Junior Championship, that's the approach they've brought to this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Forward J.T. Miller, defenseman Jacob Trouba and goaltender John Gibson all went to Alberta last year and came away with emotional scars caused by going 1-3 in the preliminary round to end up in the relegation pool.

"There were things that none of us have forgotten that happened," Trouba told "I think about it all the time and it [stinks]. It's about getting redemption and having another crack at it."

USA U-17 team blanks Swiss behind Birdsall

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 4:18 PM / Prospects

New Jersey native Chris Birdsall made 20 saves to lead the U.S. Under-17 Select Team to a 5-0 victory over Switzerland on Thursday in the second game of preliminary-round action at the 2012 U17 Five Nations Tournament in Chomutov, Czech Republic.

Following a scoreless first period, Austin Poganski, Robert Nardella and Shane Gersich scored to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead. Gersich, of Holy Family Catholic High School in Minnesota, also notched two assists in the game. Birdsall made 10 saves in the second.

"We started getting pucks and bodies to the net in the second period," U.S. coach Barry Smith said. "Our team has been making changes and adjustments, and we've gone out and been successful so far."

Three-goal second leads Canada past Russia

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 2:42 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Sean Monahan, Scott Harrington and Dougie Hamilton each scored goals in the second period and the Canadian National Junior Team held on for a 3-2 victory over Team Russia in the opening game of the Canada-Russia Challenge on Thursday at Arena 2000 in Yaroslavl, Russia.

The host country will look to even the scheduled four-game series on Friday at Arena 2000 at 10 a.m. ET., before both teams resume play in Halifax, N.S., on Monday and Tuesday.

Nail Yakupov, the first pick by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 NHL Draft, had pulled Russia within 3-2 with his team on a two-man advantage with six minutes remaining in the third off a feed from Artyom Sergeyev. Canadian starter Malcolm Subban (Boston Bruins) came up big down the stretch to pick up the victory between the pipes.

Seth Jones returns to camp bigger, more mature

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 11:32 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Seth Jones arrived in Lake Placid, N.Y., for the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp a year ago as a talented 16-year-old defenseman who was looking to make a name for himself as a candidate for future national teams.

One year after an eye-opening performance, Jones returned to Lake Placid not only as a near-lock to play for Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championship, but as the potential No. 1 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Physically matured at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Jones has performed at this week's camp like the dominant presence who wowed the USA Hockey staff last year -- but now he's a year bigger, stronger and more experienced.

U.S. wins opener in Five Nations Tournament

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 10:04 AM / Prospects

Austin Poganski and Kyle Connor scored two goals apiece and Chris Birdsall made 15 saves to lead the U.S. Under-17 Select Team to a 6-2 victory over Germany in preliminary-round action of the 2012 U17 Five Nations Tournament on Wednesday in Chomutov, Czech Republic.

Poganski, who was named U.S. player of the game, scored twice in a span of 55 seconds in the second period to give the United States a 4-1 advantage. Poganski, a native of St. Cloud, Minn., will be a junior at St. Cloud Cathedral High School in Minnesota this season.

"We wanted to come out strong and make sure we got pressure on their defense," said U.S. coach Barry Smith. "I was very happy with our performance tonight. It was a good first game and we'll look ahead to the next one."

Sharks prospect Kuraly starring at USA camp

Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 8:29 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It took a while, but Sean Kuraly finally figured out how to get the three components of his game all heading in the same direction at the same time.

Once that happened, he developed into a hard-working offensive talent, and he's had that talent on display during this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Kuraly, a 2011 fifth-round pick of the San Jose Sharks, scored a nifty goal in the second period that put the United States ahead for good in its 5-2 win against Finland on Wednesday at Herb Brooks Arena.

Stefan Noesen had a goal and an assist, and Stefan Matteau, John Gaudreau and Nicolas Kerdiles each had a goal for the U.S. team. John Gibson and Garret Sparks combined in goal for the win.

Miro Aaltonen scored both goals for Finland, which was playing for the third straight day.

Canadian, Russian juniors pay tribute to Lokomotiv

Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 1:19 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

While members of the Canadian National Junior Team have had plenty to think about prior to their meeting with Russia in the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge, the sport of hockey was put on hold Wednesday, less than 24 hours before the series opener.

Yaroslavl, the host Russian city for the Challenge series, lost its entire KHL team in a tragic plane crash 11 months ago. The Sept. 7 crash of the Yak-42 plane near Yaroslavl in central Russia killed 36 players, coaches and staff of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team. The only player who survived the crash later died of burns. A flight engineer was the sole survivor.

On Wednesday, Canadian and Russian national team players and coaches took part in a memorial ceremony for those victims, lining up in front of the newly built hockey arena, Neftestroy, where locals have been placing flowers ever since the accident. Huge banners were displayed with photos of players and staff that perished in the accident.

Canada's Ryan Murphy hopes third time is charm

Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 1:10 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Ryan Murphy finished fifth among OHL defensemen in playoff scoring last season. (Photo: OHL Images)

There's no denying the fact coach Steve Spott is going to have a few sleepless nights as he begins to familiarize himself with the Canadian National Junior Team roster competing in the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge this month.

Defenseman Ryan Murphy is one player who won't require much evaluation, however.

Spott has coached Murphy the past three seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. This year marks the third time Murphy finds himself in a position to represent his country at the World Junior Championship -- he was released prior to the final roster selection the previous two years.

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