Favourites continue to rule

U18: Tarasenko paces Russia; Lynch helps USA stay perfect

12.04.2009
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Urban Plains Center Fargo North Dakota USA

The Americans built up a 4-0 lead before Finland's third-period rally. Photo: Matthew Manor/HHoF-IIHF Images

FARGO-MOORHEAD, USA – On Day Three of the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championship, Russia demolished Slovakia 7-2, and the USA edged Finland 4-3. Earlier, Sweden outlasted Germany 5-4, and Canada cruised to an 8-1 win over Switzerland.

Russia – Slovakia 7-2 (1-0, 4-1, 2-1)

Following a disappointing loss to Finland, Russia's offense exploded versus Slovakia in a 7-2 victory in Moorhead.

Vladimir Tarasenko led the way with two goals and two assists, as Russia earned its first win of the tournament. Maxim Kitsyn also had two goals for the winners. Dmitri Orlov notched a goal and two assists, and Sergei Chvanov and Kirill Kabanov had a goal and an assist apiece.

Tarasenko got the lone goal in a penalty-filled first period. The Russians picked up their intensity in the second period, notching two goals in the first 1:21, including a solo power-play strike by Dmitri Orlov and Maxim Kitsyn's 3-0 goal, set up by Evgeni Kuznetsov and Alexander Burmistrov.

Toward the midway point, the teams traded shorthanded tallies. Sergei Chvanov made it 4-0 Russia, and Jozef Kentos finally got one past Russian goalie Igor Bobkov just over three and a half minutes later.

But when Kitsyn made it 5-1 Russia at 13:40 of the second--again assisted by Kuznetsov and Burmistrov--that effectively ended Slovakia's hopes of mounting a comeback. Slovakian goalie Juraj Holly was yanked in favour of Tomas Pek to start the third period.

Even though Miroslav Bobocky cashed in with a  power play goal at 1:31 of the third, Kabanov and Tarasenko added goals in the final 10 minutes to finalize Russia's victory.

Russia outshot Slovakia 40-39.

The Russians take on Norway on Sunday, while Slovakia faces the USA on Monday.

USA – Finland 4-3 (2-0, 2-0, 0-3)

Kevin Lynch sparked the attack with a goal and two assists as the USA stayed perfect atop Group B at the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championship with a narrow 4-3 win over Finland. Through two games, Lynch leads all American scorers with six points.

Despite mounting a furious third-period rally, Finland saw its record drop to one win and one loss.

The Americans built up a 4-0 lead in the first two periods. After A.J. Treais beat Finland's Joni Ortio to make it 1-0 at 6:02 of the first, Jerry D'Amigo gave the USA a two-goal lead midway through the period.

D'Amigo then set up Lynch for the 3-0 goal at 12:46 of the second period. When Chris Brown notched his first of the tournament with 55 seconds left before the buzzer, an American triumph seemed certain.

But the Finns would increase their tempo. Just 12 seconds into the third period, Mikael Granlund spoiled USA netminder Adam Murray's shutout bid with his first goal of the tournament.

Teemu Pulkkinen made it 4-2 on a Jonas Nattinen set-up with 5:02 remaining, and Erik Haula made it 4-3 with under four minutes left. But that was as close as the Finns would get.

Nattinen had two assists for Finland, which outshot the Americans 39-31.

Finland faces Norway on Monday, while the USA takes on Slovakia that day.

Sweden – Germany 5-4  (2-1, 1-1, 1-1)

After opening with a big win against the Czechs, the Swedes struggled to put the feisty Germans away in their second outing.

When Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi gave Sweden a 5-2 lead at 4:27 of the third period, it looked like the game was over. But then Tre Kronor took three out of the next four penalties, including a kneeing major and game misconduct to Patrick Cehlin, who had scored Sweden's 3-1 goal in the second. German defenceman Dennis Steinhauer made it 5-3 on the power play at 7:36 of the third.

Marc El-Fayed, with his second tally of the evening, got Germany within one goal with just under 10 minutes left and Sweden's Tim Erixon in the box for high-sticking. (Erixon, otherwise, enjoyed a strong game with three assists.)

The Germans ran into penalty troubles of their own down the stretch, and didn't manage to pull goalie Lukas Steinhauer for the extra attacker. Swedish goalie Robin Lehner got his second win in a row. Final shots on goal favoured Sweden 50-37.

For Sweden, Anton Lander contributed a goal and two helpers, and Svensson-Paajarvi and Calle Jarnkrok had a goal and an assist apiece. Gabriel Landeskog also scored for Sweden, which currently sits in second place in Group A.

Germany's other goal was a shorthanded tally by Tom Kuhnhackl, son of the legendary Erich Kuhnhackl. Germany will look for its first win of the tournament when it takes on the Czech Republic on Sunday.

Canada – Switzerland 8-1 (2-1, 3-0, 3-0)

The Canadians retained their grip on first place in Group A, hammering the hapless Swiss for their second straight win. Thus far, the defending champions have an impressive 19-3 goal differential.

Ethan Werek opened the scoring with a pair of first-period power play goals, marking his second consecutive two-goal game. Although Switzerland's Nino Niederreiter cut the gap to 2-1 on the man advantage with 47 seconds left in the first, Canada blew the game open in the second.

After Ryan O'Reilly stretched Canada's lead to 3-1 at 7:55 of the middle frame, Joey Hishon potted a pair of goals to make it 5-1.

Hishon completed his hat trick at 6:03 of the third period. Late goals by John McFarland and Zack Kassian rounded out the scoring at 8-1. McFarland, a 1992-born rookie with the OHL's Sudbury Wolves, also racked up three assists.

Much like against Germany, the Canadian power play was outstanding versus Switzerland. The Swiss took eight minors, and Canada converted on five occasions. Canada outshot Switzerland 32-25.

Canada gets a day off before facing the Czechs on Monday. Switzerland will face Sweden that day.

LUCAS AYKROYD
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