Archive for WJC – Russia

Russia Triumphs Over Canada, Retains Bronze At World Junior Championships


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Bookend goals in the first period of play and a standout performance by a player who is a first round draft pick of a National Hockey League club propelled RUSSIA past CANADA 2-1 in the BRONZE MEDAL MATCH of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships watched by the audience of 10,713 spectators at the Malmo Arena in Sweden.

The result marked the second consecutive year in which the Russians edged their traditional rivals from North America for third place honors at the planet’s premier ice hockey tournament for players under 20 years of age.

The scoreline in Malmo also means that the Russia have now defeated Canada at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships for a third year on the trot but continues to trail in the all-time series between the two nations (the Canucks have won ten, lost eight with two draws). However, if one includes the record of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, it is the Russians who now hold a slim historical lead with 16 wins against 15 losses with two ties. The particular match-up has been especially close on the scoreboard, as well, over the last two decades with eleven out of the last sixteen contests between Canada and Russia having been settled by exactly one goal.

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Russia center MIKHAIL GRIGORENKO (25) from the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres is congratulated by captain ANTON SLEPYSHEV of Salavat Yulayev Ufa and defenseman PAVEL ZADOROV (16), the first round selection (# 16 overall) of the Buffalo Sabres at the 2012 NHL Draft who is currently skating in the Canadian junior system for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, after scoring the first goal of the game to determine which nation gets to depart Sweden in possession of the set of shiny bronze medals handed out at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Malmo, Sweden.
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Canada, icing a team in Sweden that included no fewer than eleven players who are coveted first round draft picks of National Hockey League clubs, are clearly disappointed at the dreadful prospect of having to depart Malmo a little lighter in the luggage than they might have hoped. Fact is, this is the first time that the Canadians have failed to earn a medal of any kind at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships since the winter of 1980/81. At that point in time, there was no true junior national team as it was Canada’s custom to simply send the current Memorial Cup holder but, of course, everything changed after the 1981 tournament held in West Germany.

The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, to review, immediately implemented its so-called “Program of Excellence” in order to attain better results (read, defeat the Soviet Union) at international junior tournaments. And the very first dividends were paid out quickly at the 1982 IIHF World Junior Championships hosted by a variety of cities in the State of Minnesota south of the border. It was there in the United States that a pioneering Canada absolutely crushed the U.S.S.R. 7-0 in the round robin (a result that must live on for eternity as the most crushing loss that the Soviet U-20s ever suffered at the planet’s most high profile competition for teenagers) on its way to winning its very first gold medal in the annual competition that was officially recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation first in 1977.

How the Canadians chooose to cope with this latest medal crisis at the World Junior Championships remains to be seen.

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Russia goaltender ANDREI VASILEVSKI (30) from Kontinental Hockey League club Salavat Yulayev Ufa, the 19-year-old native of Tyumen who was the first round pick (# 19 overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2012 National Hockey League Draft, makes a pad save to deny Canada forward ANTHONY MANTHA (28) from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Val-d’Or Foreurs, the first round choice (# 20 overall) of the Detroit Red Wings at the 2013 NHL Draft this past summer, during the Bronze Medal Match of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships at the Malmo Arena in Scandinavia.
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January 5, 2014
2014 IIHF World Junior Championships – Bronze Medal Match
Malmo Arena – Attendance : 10,713

RUSSIA 2 – CANADA 1

03:35 … RUS – Grigorenko (unassisted) – ppg
14:38 … RUS – Gimatov (Mironov)
47:10 … CAN – Morrissey (Hudon, Pelech)

shots-on-goal : RUS 32 (14 + 8 + 10) – CAN 31 (13 + 7 + 11)

penalty minutes : RUS 10 – CAN 10

referees : Bjork (Swe) and Mayer (USA)

CANADA : Fucale – Ekblad, Pouliot ; G. Reinhart, Dumba ; Pelech, Morrissey ; Bigras – Hudon, Drouin, Mantha ; Laughton, Horvat, S. Reinhart ; Lazar, Petan, McDavid ; Rychel, Gauthier, Anderson ; Leier

RUSSIA : Vasilevski – Mironov, Zadorov ; Lyubushkin, Tryamkin ; Bereglazov, Maslov ; Vasiliev – Slepyshev, Grigorenko, Buchnevich ; Zhafyanov, Osnovin, Barabanov ; Barbashev, Yakimov, Khlopotov ; Zykov, Buratov, Gimatov ; Skladnichenko

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Host Sweden Staves Off Hard-Charging Russia In WJC Semi-Final


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A first period power play strike, a breakaway goal early in the final frame as well as consistently strong goaltending all throughout the match proved itself to be the winning combination for Tre Kronor as host SWEDEN edged RUSSIA 2-1 in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships semifinal contest watched by the crowd of 11,725 spectators at the Malmo Arena.

The result marked the ninth time that Sweden has defeated Russia at the annual tournament for the planet’s very best players under 20 years of age in the last ten meetings between the two countries. The triumph also means that the unbeaten squad of head coach RIKARD GRONBORG will have the distinct advantage of skating on home ice in the upcoming Gold Medal Match. The Swedes, who have now won all six of their games here in Malmo this winter, have only ever won the title at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships twice before — in 1981 at tournament held in Fuessen, West Germany, and again in 2012 at the competition staged in the western Canadian cities of Calgary and Edmonton.

The Russians, who had come from behind to defeat the United States at the quarterfinal stage, probably created the better chances in the first twenty minutes but were made to pay dearly after defenseman NIKITA TRYAMKIN from Kontinental Hockey League club Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg went to the sin bin for holding and then right wing ALEXANDER BARABANOV from second division side VMF-Karelija St. Petersburg was given a penalty for delaying the game. Technically speaking, Tryamkin’s sentence had been served but, in reality, the Swedes were still enjoying a two-man advantage in the offensive zone when left wing FILIP FORSBERG from the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League netted his fourth goal at this 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships with only 49 seconds left in the opening period. A brilliant pass from center ELIAS LINDHOLM of the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes, the fifth overall player selected at the 2013 NHL Draft this past summer who has now has seven assists in six games for Sweden at this tournament in Malmo, had made it all possible.

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Sweden left wing FILIP FORSBERG (16), the eleventh overall player selected at the 2012 National Hockey League Draft who registered one goal and five points while skating in twelve games for the Nashville Predators in the National Hockey League at the beginning of this 2013/14 season, is currently tied at the very top of the scoring chart for this year’s IIHF World Junior Championships in Malmo with the total of twelve points.
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The flow of the game also seemed to favor the Russians in the second session with head coach MIKHAIL VARNKOV’s troops providing more support to the puck carrier while seemingly a step quicker in all races for the little black disc, as well. But Sweden goaltender OSCAR DANSK, the 19-year-old native of Stockholm who currently turns out for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League in the Canadian junior system, continued the sensational sort of stuff (5 ga, 1.60 avg, .935 svpct) that he has shown off all tournament long. And the Russian power play, which had been so lethal to the Americans at the quarterfinal stage and had come into this semifinal round ranked first at this tournament here in Malmo, was absent without leave.

The Swedish playmaker Lindholm was assessed a double minor for high sticking very late in the second period but the Russians, who won the bronze medal on home ice in Ufa at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, did nothing with the resulting four minutes of time on the man advantage.

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This particular power play failure proved to be pivotal because, not all that long after the release of Lindholm from the penalty box, the ambitious Swedes scored again to double their lead roughly five minutes into the third period. A long stretch pass from ERIK KARLSSON, the HC Vastra Frolunda Gothenburg left wing who was chosen in the fourth round (# 99 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, allowed OSKAR SUNDQVIST from defending Swedish elite league champion AIK Skelleftea to get behind an otherwise diligent Russian defensive corps at the blue line. And a nice little deke coupled with a rising backhander left Russia netminder ALEXEI VASILEVSKI of KHL side Salavat Yulayev Ufa, the first round choice (# 19 overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2012 NHL Draft, absolutely no chance.

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Sweden goaltender OSCAR DANSK (35) from the OHL’s Erie Otters focuses rather sharply as Russia left wing DAMIR ZHAFRAYOV (11), the 19-year-old native of Moscow who has scored a respectable seven goals in 29 Kontinental Hockey League games for Metallurg Novokuznetsk so far this term, seeks to back hand the puck in front of the net during the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships semi-final match at the Malmo Arena.
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Immediately, Sweden made the thorough transition into an all-out defensive posture and would not be so concerned with venturing forward for the remainder of the contest. The Russians obviously had no alternatives other than to ramp up its attack posthaste but got a bit lucky less than two minutes later when a very sharp angle shot from DAMIR KHAFRAYOV from KHL club Metallurg Novokuznetsk was somehow permitted find the back of the net by the otherwise outstanding Dansk. With the deficit now halved, a proper siege of the Swedish cage could begin in earnest.

MIKHAIL GRIGORENKO of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, the Russians’ leading sniper with four goals at this year’s World Junior Championships, was largely invisible in the first two periods but suddenly appeared and generated three shots on target with the time running out. Captain ANTON SLEPYSHEV from KHL side Salavat Yulayev Ufa, the third round selection (# 88 overall) of the Edmonton Oilers at the 2013 NHL Draft, was, in fact, able to beat the Swedish goaltender but saw his effort clank off the iron. The in-form Dansk committed grand larceny when he saved from center BOGDAN YAKIMOV, another player who was reserved in the third round (# 83 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, at very close range with only about three minutes left.

The Russians were able to exchange their goaltender for a sixth attacker but could not muster an equalizer and will have to appear in the Bronze Medal Game for the second consecutive year. For the second time in as many matches in Malmo, the Russians became entangled in extra-curricular activities at the conclusion of a IIHF World Junior Championships engagement. Also, a scuffle bloodied the nose of one Russian player and could end up in the banishment of another Swedish skater from the upcoming Gold Medal Game.

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THE CONCLUDING CHAOS — Rough-housing Sweden defenseman JESPER PETTERSSON of HC Linkoping could find himself in hot water with the official IIHF Disciplinary Panel and, as a result, be suspended from the Gold Medal Game on Sunday … Pettersson (# 6, far right) charged straight out of the penalty box right at the conclusion of the semifinal contest at the Malmo Arena and literally launched himself into an alteration which had already begun along the boards. The unfortunate target of Pettersson’s flying body blow was Russia defenseman ANDREI MIRONOV, whose lower body is visible at the far right in the above photo. Mironov, the 19-year-old who skates in the Kontinental Hockey League for Dynamo Moscow, is engaged in a wrestling match with Sweden center ELIAS LINDHOLM (# 19) from the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League.
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January 4, 2014
2014 IIHF World Junior Championship – Quarterfinal
Malmo Arena : Attendance : 11,725

SWEDEN 2 – RUSSIA 1

19:11 … SWE – Forsberg (Lindholm) – ppg)
44:55 … SWE – Sundqvist (Arnesson, E. Karlsson)
46:37 … RUS – Zhafrayov (Barbanov)

shots-on-goal : RUS 27 (10 + 7 + 10) – SWE 21 (10 + 8 + 3)

penalty minutes : SWE 14 – RUS 10

referees : Boman (Finland) and Hradil (Czech Republic)

SWEDEN : Dansk – Djoos, Arnesson ; Pettersson, Olofsson ; Norell, Hagg ; Bengtsson – Johnson, Wennberg, Collberg ; Forsberg, Lindholm, de la Rose ; Burakowsky, Wallmark, Sorensen ; E. Karlsson, Sundqvist, Sandberg ; A. Karlsson

RUSSIA : Vasilevski – Mironov, Zadorov ; Lyubushkin, Tryamkim ; Bereglazov, Maslov ; Vasiliev – Slepyshev, Grigorenko, Buchnevich ; Zhafyanov, Osnovin, Barabanov ; Barbashev, Yakimov, Khlopotov ; Zykov, Buratov, Gimatov ; Skadnichenko

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Furious Russian Rally Elminates Frustrated Americans In WJC Quarterfinal


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A couple of five-on-three power play goals scored one minute and one second apart in the latter half of the second period swung the contest and shutout netminding the rest of the way propelled RUSSIA to a 5-3 triumph over the defending gold medalist UNITED STATES in the first of four quarterfinal matches at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Malmo, Sweden.

After twice falling behind in the first period, the Americans took advantage of some rather poor Russian goaltending to assume a 3-2 lead as the players skated off for the intermission. Russia, who had finished third in Group B after defeating Norway and Switzerland but losing to Finland and Sweden, scored first when center MIKHAIL GRIGORENKO from the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres scored his fourth goal at this year’s annual tournament for the planet’s best players under the age of 20 years with a shot from close range. The United States struck back almost three minutes later when left wing STEFAN MATTEAU, the first round selection (# 29 overall) of the New Jersey Devils at the 2012 NHL Draft who now skates for the American Hockey League farm club in Albany, stabbed a loose puck near the goal line home after center JACK EICHEL, the talented 17-year-old from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, who will attend Boston University next fall, had created the dangerous chance with a wraparound move from behind the net.

Russia very quickly regained the lead only 21 seconds later when right wing PAVEL BUCHNEVICH of Kontinental Hockey League club Severstal Cherepovets, the third round pick (# 75 overall) of the New York Rangers at the 2013 NHL Draft, found the back of the American net. But then the United States, who fired 17 shots on target in a wild first period that saw the two teams combine for no less than 30 official attempts, equalized when right wing RYAN HARTMAN of the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers, the 19-year-old who the first round choice of the Chicago Black Hawks at the 2013 NHL Draft, scored his second goal here in Sweden on the backhand. And American left wing NIC KERDILES from the University of Wisconsin, the 19-year-old who was taken in the second round choice (# 36 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Anaheim Ducks, netted his second goal of this year’s World Junior Championships with a knuckleball-type effort after making an outstanding play at the Russian blue line settle the puck out of the air with his stick.

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Russia defenseman NIKITA ZADOROV (16), the dynamic 18-year-old who skated seven games for the Buffalo Sabres in the National Hockey League before being assigned to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League in the Canadian junior system, and captain ANTON SLEPYSHEV (9), the third round pick (# 88 overall) of the Edmonton Oilers at the 2013 NHL Draft who had three assists in the victory over the defending gold medalists, celebrate in the quarterfinal match with the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Malmo, Sweden.
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The second period progressed well enough for the tournament’s reigning champions but the United States failed to extend its lead and would come to regret this soon enough. The Americans wasted two opportunities with the power play in the middle session before running into penalty trouble, themselves, roughly twelve minutes in. Within short order both Matteau and THOMAS DI PAULI, the University of Notre Dame right wing who was chosen in the fourth round (# 100 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals, were languishing in the sin bin and the Russians pounced twenty seconds later.

ANTON SLEPYSHEV, the Salavat Yulayev Ufa left wing who was playing the left point, slid a square pass over to his partner NIKITA ZADOROV at the top of the right face-off circle and the promising Russian defenseman simply rifled the puck right past United States goaltender JON GILLIES of Providence College, the 19-year-old who was tabbed in the third round (# 75 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames.

A mere five seconds thereafter, the United States again found itself with two players sitting in the penalty box after STEVE SANTINI, the Boston College defenseman who was reserved by the New Jersey Devils in the second round (# 42 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, was given a two-minute minor for delaying the game. Once again, the Russian five-on-three power play produced the same result on a play that was almost identical to the first strike — the captain Slepyshev provided a blue line feed for the first round pick (# 16 overall) of the Buffalo Sabres at the 2013 NHL Draft. To beat Gillies on this occasion, though, Zadorov hammered his one-timer from the central point area in between the face-off circles to score his third goal of this 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships.

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United States right wing HUDSON FASCHING (22), the freshman from the University of Minnesota who was tabbed by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round (# 118 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft this past summer, is turned away by Russia goaltender ANDREI VASILEVSKI of Kontinental Hockey League club Salavat Yulayev Ufa during the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships quarterfinal contest at the Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.
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The Russians, who also defeated the United States on home ice at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships twelve months ago, spent the third period focusing on the defensive aspects of its game while protecting what had already been gained. Indeed, head coach MIKHAIL VARNAKOV’s troops only generated three shots on target over the final twenty minutes of play. The United States, however, continued to shoot itself in the foot by taking two more penalties early in the last stanza and, thus, were forced to spend valuable time in its own end.

The Americans actually had two more chances of its own with the power play in the last period but were still unable to level terms. This from the team that had scored more power play goals (11) than any other country at this tournament. At least part of this was due to the improved form of Russia netminder ANDREI VASILEVSKI of Salavat Yulayev Ufa, the 19-year-old who was the first round selection (# 19 overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2012 NHL Draft. Vasilevski, who made four appearances (1.81 avg, .950 svpct) for bronze medalist Russia at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships but did not play against the United States in Ufa last season, finished with thirty saves against the Americans at Malmo.

The Russians ultimately salted the game away with less than half a minute remaining when Buchnevich shot the puck into an empty net to score his second goal at this tournament in Sweden but then things got a bit ugly when the New York Rangers prospect headed straight for the United States bench in order to gloat. For his troubles, the first line right wing for Russia got what appeared to be a stick in the face from a no nonsense American player standing up along the bench and a ten-minute misconduct penalty from the unimpressed match referees. There was bad blood at the bench area at the conclusion of the quarterfinal match at the Malmo Isstadion with several Russian players chirping and making obvious hand gestures, as well.

To his credit, Grigorenko apologized to the media on behalf of some of his teammates after the game … but the fact remained that Russia had earned the right to meet the host nation Sweden in the semifinal round of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships.

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Russia right wing PAVEL BUCHNEVICH (19) of Severstal Cherepovets intentionally but needlessly skates right past the United States bench moments after scoring an empty net goal to eliminate the Americans at the quarterfinal stage of the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Malmo, Sweden.
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January 2, 2014
2014 IIHF World Junior Championships – Quarterfinal
Malmo Isstadion – Attendance : 1,876

RUSSIA 5 – UNITED STATES 3

06:17 … RUS – Grigorenko (Slepyshev)
08:50 … USA – Matteau (Eichel, Skjei)
09:11 … RUS – Buchnevich (Mironov)
11:23 … USA – Hartman (Matteau)
16:51 … USA – Kerdiles (Barber)
33:15 … RUS – Zadorov (Slepyshev) – ppg
34:16 … RUS – Zadorov (Slepyshev) – ppg
59:32 … RUS – Buchnevich (unassisted) – eng

shots-on-goal : USA 33 ( 17 + 7 + 9 ) – RUS 25 ( 13 + 9 + 3 )

penalty minutes : USA 12 – RUS 10 (plus two 10-minute misconducts)

referees : Kubus (Slovakia) and Linde (Sweden)

RUSSIA : Vasilevski – Mironov, Zadorov ; Lyubushkin, Tryamkin ; Bereglasov, Maslov ; Vasiliev – Slepyshev, Grigorenko, Buchnevich ; Zhafyanov, Osnovin, Barabanov ; Barbashev, Yakimov, Khlopotov ; Zykov, Busarov, Gimatov ; Skadnichenko

UNITED STATES : Gillies – Skjei, Carrick ; Butcher, Santini ; Slavin, Grzelcyk ; McCoshen – Kerdiles, O’Regan, Barber ; Matteau, Eichel, Hartman ; Erne, Copp, Fasching ; Hinostroza, Shore, Di Pauli ; Stepan

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Not Your Father’s Soviet Junior National Team


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As the UNITED STATES prepares to face-off against RUSSIA to open the quarterfinal round at the 2014 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS, it is interesting to note some of the things that have changed radically since the former times of the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

It was not all that long ago that the official mouthpiece TASS, the acronym for “Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union”, loudly accused the Buffalo Sabres of “piracy” immediately following the defection of ALEXANDER MOGILNY to the National Hockey League club at the conclusion of the 1989 IIHF World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. Of course, the widely read SOVIETSKY SPORT ran that delightful piece entitled, “The Golden Calf And The Horse Thieves From Buffalo”, on the heels of the 20-year-old Mogilny bolting the U.S.S.R. senior national team in Scandinavia. But all that public acrimony and political jockeying for Cold War position is a thing of the past, to be sure.

Nowadays, the star offensive player on Russia junior national team head coach MIKHAIL VARNAKOV’s squad at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships in Sweden is none other than MIKHAIL GRIGORENKO, the 19-year-old center who has spent this entire season skating for the very same Buffalo Sabres in the vaunted National Hockey League.

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Soviet Union left wing MIKHAIL VARNAKOV (19) of Torpedo Gorky and Canada center BRENT SUTTER (27) of the New York Islanders meet during the 1986 IIHF World Championships held in Moscow. Varnakov appeared at four major international tournaments (26 ga, 13 go, 20 pts) for the U.S.S.R. over the course of his playing career, which ended in 1993 after a season spent with German club SC Riessersee. Small but speedy, which was very typical for Soviet forwards of his era, Varnakov formed an effective troika for Torpedo Gorky with center Vladimir Kovin and right wing Alexander Skvortsov — a unit which did well for the U.S.S.R. national team against the National Hockey League All-Stars in the 1979 Challenge Cup series that was held at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City.
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And the standout defenseman on Varnakov’s Russian side at the IIHF Junior World Championships in Scandinavia just so happens to be the mammoth NIKITA ZADOROV (6’5″ 227 lbs), the 18-year-old blueliner who made seven appearances and netted one goal for the Buffalo Sabres at the start of the 2013/14 NHL season before being assigned to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League in the Canadian junior system.

No doubt, the results on the scoreboard are not quite what they used to be since the Soviet Union formally dissolved at precisely the same time that the 1992 IIHF World Junior Championships were being conducted in Germany. Including the final victory (a 5-0 shutout) for the so-called Commonwealth of Independent States over the Americans at Kaufbeuren that winter, the old U.S.S.R. won twelve of thirteen matches with the U.S.A. at the annual tournament for the world’s premier players under 20 years of age. Nikita Khrushchev can bang his shoe on the table at the United Nations in heaven as much as he likes but this sort of complete domination has, very much like the sovereign state last led by Mikhail Gorbachev, ceased to exist.

The series between Russia and the United States at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships has been remarkably even ever since these two nations first met in the Swedish city of Gavle on January 2, 1993. The Americans triumphed 4-2 on that occasion in Scandinavia and, altogether, boast five victories from the eleven WJC contests to date. As further evidence of the competitiveness that now exists in the games between the two countries at this junior international level, more than half of the Russia versus United States engagements (six out of the eleven) have been settled by one goal or less.

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As former Buffalo Sabres scoring star Alexander Mogilny did for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics once upon a time, Russia center MIKHAIL GRIGORENKO (25) is making his third appearance at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships this winter. The 19-year-old native of Khabarovsk, who has skated in 18 NHL games (2 go, 3 pts) for the Buffalo Sabres so far this season, has totaled seven goals and 17 points in 17 career contests for Russia at the annual IIHF World Junior Championships. Mogilny, who was also born in the far eastern Russian city of Khabaraovsk, amassed 18 goals and 35 points in 20 career WJC matches during the late 1980s.

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Russia 2010 WJC training camp roster

VLADIMIR PLYUSHCHEV behind the bench for silver medalist Russia at last winter's U-18 World Championships.

VLADIMIR PLYUSHCHEV behind the bench for silver medalist Russia at last winter's U-18 World Championships.

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The two big names on the Russian roster would be left wing NIKITA FILATOV, the leading goal-scorer at last year’s World Junior Championships who was recently sent on loan to CSKA Moscow for the remainder of the season by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and defenseman DMITRI KULIKOV, last summer’s # 1 pick of the Florida Panthers who has immediately claimed a regular place in the team’s NHL line-up this fall and is averaging sixteen minutes per game.

The Russians have a new coach this year. Former USSR national team player and Stanley Cup winner SERGEI NEMCHINOV has been replaced by VLADIMIR PLYUSHCHEV. Plyushchev, who ended his Soviet Elite League career at age 24 and worked for many years in the KGB before going into coaching in 1995, was the boss of the senior Russian squad at the 2003 IIHF World Championships.

Russia lost a 6-5 heart-breaker to eventual champion Canada at the semi-final stage before beating Slovakia 5-2 for the bronze medal at the 2009 WJC tournament.

  • 18 – gk – Igor BOBKOV — Metallurg Magnitogorsk
  • 18 – gk – Ramis SADIKOV — Erie (OHL jrs)
  • 19 – gk – Alexander ZALIVIN — Dynamo Moscow
  • 19 – def – Maxim CHUDINOV — Severstal Cherepovets
  • 17 – def – Ildar ISANGULOV — Tolpar Ufa
  • 19 – def – Anton KLEMENTYEV — Bridgeport (AHL)
  • 19 – def – Dmitri KOSTROMITIN — Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL jrs)
  • 19 – def – Dmitri KULIKOV — FLORIDA PANTHERS
  • 18 – def – Dmitri ORLOV — Metallurg Novokuznetsk
  • 18 – def – Nikita PIVTSAKIN — Avangard Omsk
  • 19 – def – Konstantin PLASKIN — Traktor Chelyabinsk
  • 19 – def – Alexander TARASOV — HC MVD Balashikha
  • 19 – def – Vyacheslav VOINOV — Manchester (AHL)
  • 18 – def – Kiril YURIEV — Lada Togliatti
  • 18 – def – Nikita ZAYTSEV — Sibir Novosibirsk
  • 18 – for – Alexander BURMISTROV — Barrie (OHL jrs)
  • 19 – for – Pavel DEDUNOV — Amur Khabarovsk
  • 19 – for – Egor DUGIN — Traktor Chelyabinsk
  • 19 - for – Nikita FILATOV — CSKA Moscow
  • 19 – for – Magomed GIMBATOV — SKA St. Petersburg
  • 19 - for – Evgeny GRACHEV — Hartford (AHL)
  • 19 – for – Petr KHOKHRYAKOV — Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk
  • 18 – for – Maxim KITSYN — Metallurg Novokuznetsk
  • 19 - for – Dmitri KUGRYSHEV — Quebec (QMJHL jrs)
  • 19 – for – Vyacheslav KULEMIN — CSKA Moscow  
  • 17 – for – Evgeny KUZNETSOV — Traktor Chelyabinsk
  • 19 - for – Kiril PETROV — Ak Bars Kazan
  • 19 – for – Sergei PLOTNIKOV — Amur Khabarovsk
  • 18 – for – Alexander TARASENKO — Sibir Novosibirsk
  • 17 – for – Ivan TELEGIN — Saginaw (OHL jrs)
  • 19 – for – Evgeny TIMKIN — Avangard Omsk
  • 19 – for – Maxim TRUNEV — Severstal Cherepovets

2009 WJC : Filatov (7 ga, 8 go 3 as), Grachev (7 ga, 2 go 3 as), Chudinov (7 ga, 0 go 5 as), Voinov (7 ga, 1 go 3 as), Kulikov (7 ga, 0 go 4 as), Kugryshev (7 ga, 1 go 1 as), Petrov (7 ga, 0 go 0 as)

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