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Bellows scores twice, U.S. defeats Russia at World Juniors

Islanders first-round pick breaks tie in third period

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO -- Forward Kieffer Bellows scored two goals to help give the United States a 4-2 win against Russia in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

Bellows (New York Islanders) gave the United States a 3-2 lead off a slap shot from the left face-off circle at 12:31 of the third period.

Kailer Yamamoto (Edmonton Oilers) and Joey Anderson (New Jersey Devils) also scored, and Joseph Woll (Toronto Maple Leafs) made 27 saves for the United States. 

The U.S. will play Sweden in the semifinal round at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

Video: Highlights from the USA vs. Russia matchup

The win was the first in four tries for the United States against Russia in the quarterfinal round of the tournament. Bellows, a first-round pick (No. 19) by the Islanders at the 2016 NHL Draft, has four regulation goals and one shootout goal in five games.

Defenseman Dylan Samberg (Boston Bruins) directed a puck off the end boards from beyond the blue line that Bellows picked up in stride for his goal.

"I think it was simple hockey," Bellows said when asked if it was a set play. "Put the puck deep, and I knew the boards were lively back there so I thought I could just forecheck hard and put the puck on net. Lucky enough it went in."

Anderson scored into an empty net with 41 seconds remaining.

Woll made 13 saves in the second, including one with his right pad against Vitali Abramov (Columbus Blue Jackets) off a forehand from the slot at 3:29. 

The United States is looking to become the first country to win a gold medal in consecutive years since Canada won the last of five straight in 2009. Three countries have ever won the WJC on home ice: Canada (1991, 1995, 2006, 2009, 2015), Finland (1998, 2016) and the Soviet Union (1983).

 

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Marsel Sholokhov and Andrei Altybarmakyan (Chicago Blackhawks) scored and Vladislav Sukhachyov made 39 saves for Russia, which was eliminated from the tournament by the United States a second straight year. The U.S. defeated Russia 4-3 in a seven-round shootout in the semifinal round of the 2017 WJC to advance to the gold medal game for the third time in seven years.

Russia has won 12 of 20 games against the U.S. at the WJC. 

Sholokhov just missed tying the game with 5:05 left in the third period when he shot form the right face-off circle hit the long-side post.

Altybarmakyan tied the game 2-2 when he shielded the puck from Josh Norris in the left face-off circle, skated into the slot and scored inside the right post 3:39 into the third period. 

"Russia is a great team and they came out really hard in the third period and we had to battle," Anderson said. "Once they got that one midway through the third, we regrouped and came back strong and Kieffer was able to come up clutch."

The United States took a 2-1 lead when Yamamoto scored off a quick shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle inside the right post at 14:34.

Video: The NHL Tonight crew on the USA-Russia game

Canada 8, Switzerland 2: Drake Batherson (Ottawa Senators) scored two goals and Brett Howden (Tampa Bay Lightning) had a goal and three assists in a quarterfinal-round match at KeyBank Center. Canada will play Czech Republic in the semifinal round on Thursday at KeyBank Center.

Canada carried a 5-0 lead into the second period before Dario Rohrback scored for Switzerland. Axel Simic also scored for Switzerland. Canada forward Max Comtois (Anaheim Ducks) had a goal and two assists, defensemen Conor Timmins (Colorado Avalanche) and Cale Makar (Avalanche) each had a goal an assist, and goalie Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) made 13 saves.

"We're happy with that," Canada coach Dominique Ducharme said about scoring depth. "That's what we thought we had at first and that's the way it goes right now and we're happy with that because we need everyone to be chipping in and coming from every line."

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