CANADA SHUTS OUT RUSSIA TO CLAIM WJC GOLD AGAIN
For the second-straight year, Canada captured the World Junior Championship with a victory over Russia.
Michael Blunden scored two goals Thursday night as Canada rolled to a 5-0 win over Russia in Vancouver for the gold medal.
Last year, Penguins rookie Sidney Crosby led Canada to a five-goal win over Russia, 6-1, for the championship in North Dakota.
It was the fifth gold game between these two teams since 1999. Russia won in 1999 (Winnipeg), 2002 (Pardubice), and 2003 (Halifax). It was also Canada’s fifth straight appearance in the gold medal game.
For Canada, Blake Comeau had a goal and an assist, while Steve Downie and Kyle Chipchura also scored. Cam Barker and Andrew Cogliano added a pair of helpers apiece.
Penguins prospect Kris Letang did not score for Canada in the contest. He finished with one goal and two assists.
Canadian goalie Justin Pogge made 35 saves for his third shutout of the tournament. He was able to keep Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh’s 2004 second-overall pick, off the scoresheet for the first time in this tournament. The 6-3 Malkin finished tied for second in tournament scoring with 10 points (4+6) in six games. He was voted the tournament's top forward and the media selected him as the tourney's MVP.
United States forward Phil Kessel (1+10) led all scorers with 11 points in seven games. He is considered to be the top prospect available in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Kessel had an assist Thursday night, however, the Americans dropped a 4-2 decision to Finland for the bronze medal.
Penguins prospect Tommi Leinonen, a 2005 fourth-round choice (125th overall), did not play in the game for Finland. Nevertheless, he earned a bronze medal as the defenseman finished with two assists in six games.
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.