PENS PROSPECT MALKIN LEADS UNBEATEN RUSSIA INTO WJC SEMIFINALS
Tournament scoring leader Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists as Russia completed a four-game sweep of its round-robin competition at the World Junior Championships with a 7-2 win over the Czech Republic Saturday at Vancouver.
Malkin and the Russians (4-0) get a bye in the tournament’s quarterfinal round and advance directly to the semifinals on Tuesday. Russia will play the winner of the USA-Czech Republic quarterfinal matchup.
Malkin, a 6-foot-3 centerman who was the Penguins’ first-round pick, 2nd overall, in 2004, shares the WJC scoring lead with four goals and four assists for eight points in four games. He is tied for the lead with Phil Kessel of Team USA, who has all eight of his points on assists. Kessel is considered the top prospect available in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Malkin has scored a goal in each of Russia’s four games.
Canada (4-0) also earned a bye in to the semifinals. On Tuesday, the Canadians will play the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between Sweden and Finland.
Other Penguins prospects competing in the tournament are forward Johannes Salmonsson of Sweden (2nd round, 31st overall, 2004), defenseman Kristopher Letang of Canada (3rd round, 62nd overall, 2005) and defenseman Tommi Leionen of Finland (4th round, 125th overall, 2005).
For complete tournament information, game reports, box scores, schedules and photos, please log on to www.hockeycanada.ca.
Statistical information, rosters and schedules also are available on the International Ice Hockey Federation website at www.iihf.com.