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Canada opens 3-0 lead on Russia in gold medal game

by Mike G. Morreale /
It appears nothing is going to stop these Canadian juniors from reaching the pinnacle this year.

Canada connected once in the second to grab a 3-0 lead over Russia through 40 minutes of play in the gold-medal game of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship and will now look to put together one more solid period to earn their sixth gold in the last seven years.

Brayden Schenn ripped home his tournament-leading eighth goal from the right circle off a nice pass from Marcus Foligno along the left-wing half boards 6:27 into the second period to extend Canada's lead to 3-0. Schenn's goal was his second point of the game and 18th point of the tournament, tying him with Dale McCourt for most points in one WJC with 20 minutes remaining. McCourt's mark has stood since 1977.

The goal forced Russian coach Valeri Bragin to pull goalie Dmitri Shikin and replace him with Igor Bobkov. As the dejected Russian goalie skated to his bench, the center ice scoreboard highlighted a fan holding a sign that read: "Canadian Fried Shikin."

The Canadians had an opportunity to extend the lead when they were issued their second power-play of the game, but it was Russia that had the best scoring chance. Danil Sobchenko found an opening and broke in on Mark Visentin. The Canadian goalie, who has yielded just two goals in the last two games, scooped up the attempt directed toward the five-hole.

The Russians received some horrible luck with 4:29 remaining in the second when captain Vladimir Tarasenko needed to be helped off the ice after incidental contact by a Canadian player just inside the Russian blue line.

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