The host nation faces off against Canada tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. EST to determine the victor of Group B. In their last matchup, they handled Germany rather easily, winning 7-0.
MONTREAL, QC –On the heels of a 36-save performance by Malcolm Subban and almost by the skin of their teeth, Team Canada squeaked to the finish line to beat the Americans 2-1 in today’s action at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Strome each got on the board for the victors, while Alex Galchenyuk assisted on the lone marker for Team USA despite the fact that by many accounts, he saw much less ice time than he should have.
Regardless, he and his teammates now face Slovakia to determine which of the two teams gets to move on to medal round action while Canada and Russia square off immediately afterwards for the rights to the top of Group B’s leaderboard.
Canada encountered an array of difficulties trying to profit from the Americans’ indiscipline in their matchup, despite repeated power play and double man-advantage opportunities. When they got into some penalty trouble of their own near the end of the third period, there was a very real danger that the game would need extra time to complete.
Russia has scored three power play goals so far, and all three of them belong to Albert Yarulin. Russia has also allowed the fewest goals of any team (incidentally, also three).
The first overall draft selection last June, Nail Yakupov, got himself a goal for the first time against Germany. He also made headlines after he may or may not have suggested Canada’s style of play was “dirty.”
Quebec Remparts forward and Buffalo Sabres’ draft pick Mikhail Grigorenko is currently missing from the goal category–he has three assists so far. However, he leads just about everyone (except Tobias Reider of Germany) in Group B with 16 shots on goal.
2012 finish: 2nd
Returnees: Nail Yakupov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Yaroslav Kosov, Alexander Khokhlachev, Andrei Makarov, Andrei Vasilevski, Nikita Kucherov, Artem Sergeev, Nikita Nesterov
2012 finish: 3rd
2012 against Russia: It was the wrong game to be a goaltender as all four of them saw action in a rocking see-saw semi-final that finally turned the Russians’ way with a 6-5 final that eliminated the Canadians from gold-medal contention. Brendan Gallagher picked up a goal and two assists in a losing cause while Yakupov picked up four assists.