Kaprizov leads Russia past Denmark 4-0 at world junior hockey championship | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kaprizov leads Russia past Denmark 4-0 at world junior hockey championship

Russia forward Kirill Kaprizov (right) celebrates his goal with teammate Mikhail Vorobyov as Denmark players look on during first period IIHF World Junior Championship hockey action in Toronto on Monday, January 2, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
January 02, 2017 - 6:50 PM

TORONTO - Kirill Kaprizov is no stranger to carrying his team offensively. On his Kontinental Hockey League team, where he is the youngest player, the 19-year-old is second in scoring with 15 goals and 30 points in 37 games with Salavat Yulaev Ufa.

The Minnesota Wild prospect scored twice on Monday afternoon leading the Russians to a 4-0 victory over Denmark in the quarter-finals at the world junior hockey championship.

Russia will face the United States in Wednesday's semifinals at Montreal's Bell Centre. The Russians have medals at six consecutive world junior tournaments, but just one gold medal in that span (2011).

Alexander Polunin and Pavel Karnaukhov had the other Russian goals while Washington Capitals prospect Ilya Samsonov turned aside 14 shots for his second shutout of the tournament. Philadelphia Flyers draft pick Mikhail Vorobyov had two assists in the win and now leads the tournament with eight assists.

Danish starter Lasse Petersen allowed two goals on nine shots in the first period. In an effort to give his team a boost, coach Olaf Eller made a change in goal for the second period going with Kasper Krog. Krog stopped 23 shots, including 15 in the middle frame.

"I'm very proud of my guys, I think they have made a (tremendous) tournament," Eller said. "I actually think we played a very, very strong game today against a very strong opponent. I could see tactically they respected us. We didn't get the bounces as we have got through the tournament, we didn't get them today.

"We didn't score. We have to score to make it a tight game and we didn't do that."

Kaprizov's two goals saw the 2015 fifth-round pick briefly pass Sweden's Alex Nylander for the tournament lead in points (10) at the under-20 tournament. The native of Novokuznetsk, Russia had just one goal and two assists in seven games of last year's tournament. Nylander surpassed that later Monday when he helped Sweden past Slovakia 8-3.

"We're all doing everything for the team and it doesn't matter who is the scoring leader," Kaprizov said through an interpreter while downplaying the achievement. "It doesn't matter for me or the team who scores."

With the Russians already leading 1-0, Kaprizov one-timed a Vorobyov feed short side past Petersen on a power play with 10.9 seconds remaining in the first period.

Then with 4:25 remaining in the third, Kaprizov added his second of the afternoon late picking up the loose puck at the sideboards and cutting to the slot to beat Krog for his tournament-leading seventh goal.

"Kirill Kaprizov is supposed to be a key player for our team and I'm satisfied with how he produced the goals," said Russian coach Valeri Bragin through a translator.

Russia needed overtime to defeat the Danes 4-3 in the quarter-finals of last year's tournament. The Russians settled for silver at the 2016 tournament after losing 4-3 in overtime to the host Finns in the gold medal game.

By qualifying for the quarter-finals, Denmark ensured it will participate in a record fourth consecutive world junior championship next year in Buffalo, N.Y.

"Five years ago, Denmark usually lost by nine or 10 goals when we faced the Czechs and other countries," Eller said. "Denmark hasn't been able to stay in the A Pool since before we came to Toronto (in 2015). Now we've qualified for quarters in three straight years and we are very very proud of it."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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