European Leagues

U20 World Junior Championships: Day Four

Preliminary Round
Denmark 2 @ Canada 10
Brett Connolly, Canada, 1-1-2, +3, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 3-1-4, +4, 4 PIM

Brett Connolly had a shorthanded goal and an even strength assist as the Canadians punished Denmark for showing up to the building 10-2. Connolly also took an undisciplined third period penalty for cross checking. Canada wraps up their Preliminary Round on Saturday against Team USA.

Latvia 0 @ Russia 14
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 0-3-3, +5, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 1-4-5, +7, 0 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 1-2-3, +5, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 1-3-4, +8, 2 PIM

If the Canadians set the standard Thursday night for unrelenting butt whippings, the Russians quickly rewrote it in breaking former breakaway republic Latvia 14-0. Nikita Gusev, the longtime line mate of Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov, had 2 goals and 7 points in the match and still wasn't the team's leading scorer. That distinction went to captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov's "Kuznetztrick" stat line of 3-6-9. For their parts, Lightning representatives Nikita Kucherov and Nikita Nesterov contributed a combined 1 goal and 6 points to the rout. Russia finishes their last prelim on Saturday versus Sweden.

SM-liiga Game Day: 12-29-11

SM-liiga (Finland)
Assat 2 @ JYP 4
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 24/26, 2.00 GAA, ?923 sv %
Season totals: 16 GP, 10-6-0, 6 SO, 1.51 GAA, .931 sv %

Despite Assat goals by ex-Lightning prospects Kristian Kudroc and Radek Smolenak, Riku Helenius and JYP emerged with a 4-2 win. JYP draws TPS on 1/3.

U20 World Junior Championships: Day Three

Preliminary Round
Canada 5 @ Czech Republic 0
Brett Connolly, Canada, 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 2-0-2, +1, 2 PIM

Brett Connolly scored the nail-in-coffin third goal for Canada late in the second period in their 5-0 win over Czech Republic. The goal showed some absolutely lethal stickhandling moves by Connolly, beating multiple defenders and the netminder on a joy ride through a crowded slot area. It was a man against boys moment. The forward also took a minor for interference in the match. Jets first rounder Mark Scheifele had a pair of goals in the win for the Canadians. Canada draws Denmark on Thursday. Lord have mercy on the Danes souls, because the Czechs made the Canadians work for it today, and they're bound to be grumpy.

Russia 3 @ Slovakia 1
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, +3, 2 PIM

Adam Janosik, Slovakia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

It took a Nikita Kucherov insurance marker late in the third period for the Russians to finally put away a spunky Slovakian squad 3-1. Fellow Lightning prospect Nikita Nesterov had a secondary assist on the goal. Kucherov was second on Team Russia with 5 shots behind Yevgeni Kuznetsov's impressive 9 bids on net. Russia draws Latvia on Thursday. The same grumpiness likely will apply to Team Russia. Slovakia gets Sweden on Friday.

Elitserien Game Day: 12-28-11

Elitserien (Sweden):
Farjestads 3 @ Lulea 5
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 33 GP, 11-6-17, +7, 10 PIM

Ex-Cornell forward Chris Abbott had 1 goal and 3 points to lead Lulea to a 5-3 win over Farjestads. Lulea draws Djurgardens on Friday.

European Game Day: 12-27-11

SM-liiga (Finland):
SaiPa 2 @ JYP 3 (OT)
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 15 GP, 9-6-0, 6 SO, 1.47 GAA, .932 sv%

Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin had 1 goal and 1 assist, including the helper on the overtime winner, to lead JYP to a 3-2 win over SaiPa. JYP draws Assat next on Thursday.

KHL (Russia):
Cherepovets 3 @ Spartak Moscow 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Win, 26/28, 2.00 GAA, .929 sv%
Season totals: 22 GP, 11-8-0, 2 SO, 2.57 GAA, .919 sv%

Despite a goal by ex-Flyer Stefan Rucizka with 7 seconds left in regulation, Vasily Koshechkin and Cherepovets held off Spartak Moscow 3-2. Cherepovets is now off until next Tuesday.

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