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Prospects Help Russia Advance to World Junior Semifinals

The Avalanche's Nikolai Kovalenko and Danila Zhuravlyov each recorded points

by Dan Vatch /

Two Colorado Avalanche prospects advanced to the semifinal round of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship as Team Russia beat Team Slovakia 8-3 on Wednesday at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Russians scored seven unanswered goals before Slovakia (1-4-0) notched its first marker of the game early in the third period.

Nikolai Kovalenko, the sixth-round pick (171st overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft by the Avalanche, notched his first multi-point game of the tournament with helpers on back-to-back goals in the first period. In four games for his home country, the 19-year-old has now registered a goal and two assists.

Colorado prospect Danila Zhuravlyov, the fifth-round selection (146th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft, added his first point in five games of action at the tournament with a helper on Russia's fifth goal of the night. The defenseman logged 11:52 of ice time in the win.

With the victory, Russia (5-0-0) maintains its perfect record at the World Juniors and advances to face the United States (4-0-1) on Friday at Rogers Arena with a trip to the Gold Medal Game on the line.

United States (3) vs. Czech Republic (1)

With a 3-1 loss to the United States on Wednesday, Martin Kaut and the Czech Republic were eliminated from the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The right wing recorded the lone goal for the Czechs (2-3-0) in the loss at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. He saw 19:58 of ice time and shared the team lead with three shots on goal.

Kaut paced his club with three goals and shared the team lead with four points (three goals, one assist) in five outings at the World Juniors. The Brno, Czech Republic, native served as an alternate captain for his home country during the tournament.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound forward will now return to the Colorado Eagles, the Avs' American Hockey League affiliate, where he shares sixth place on the club in scoring with 12 points (five goals, seven assists) this season.

Finland (2) vs. Canada (1) - Overtime

Avalanche prospect Shane Bowers and Team Canada fell 2-1 in overtime to Team Finland on Wednesday at Rogers Arena in the World Juniors quarterfinal round.

Defenseman Ian Mitchell scored for the Canadians (3-1-1), while Aleksi Heponiemi sent the game to overtime for the Finns (3-2-0) after reaching the back of the net with 47 seconds left in regulation. Toni Utunen was the hero in the extra frame for Finland, scoring at the 5:17 mark of overtime to eliminate host Canada.

Bowers was on the ice for 18:23, a tournament-high for him in ice time. The 19-year-old registered two helpers in five games for his home country.

The Halifax, Nova Scotia, native now returns to Boston University where he has registered eight points (five goals, three assists) in 15 outings during his sophomore season. The Terriers are back in action on Tuesday when they face off against Harvard.

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