Russia Name Squad for Euro Hockey Tour

Russia has named their squad for their upcoming tour in Europe ahead of the 2011 World Championships. The games will be played in Sweden and the Czech Republic. Evgeni Nabokov returns to the team after missing most of the latter half of the NHL’s regular season with contract disputes while young guns Vladimir Tarasenko and Artemi Panarin, who helped the junior squad capture gold earlier this year, also get to vie for a spot for the Championships in Slovakia.

New Jersey’s Vladimir Zharkov is a surprise call-up having scored just 2 NHL goals while last playing for Russia in 2006.

The team goes as follows:

Goaltenders:
Vasily Koshechkin (HC Severstal)
Konstantin Barulin (Atlant)
Evgeni Nabokov (New York Islanders)

Defensemen:
Vitaly Atyushov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Yakov Rylov (CSKA Moscow)
Evgeny Biryukov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Konstantin Korneyev (AK Bars)
Alexei Yemelin (AK Bars)
Ilya Nikulin (AK Bars)
Denis Grebeshkov (SKA St.Petersburg)
Nikolai Belov (HC Neftekhimik)

Forwards:
Alexei Morozov (AK Bars)
Danis Zaripov (AK Bars)
Denis Parshin (CSKA Moscow)
Konstantin Gorovikov (UHC Dynamo)
Vadim Schipachev (HC Severstal)
Evgeny Artyukhin (SKA St.Petersburg)
Artemi Panarin (Vityaz Chekhov)
Maxim Afinogenov (SKA St.Petersburg
Evgeny Dadonov (Florida Panthers)
Vladimir Tarasenko (HC Sibir)
Alexei Kaigorodov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk)
Alexei Tereshchenko (Ak Bars)
Aleksandr Burmistrov (Atlanta Thrashers)
Vladimir Zharkov (New Jersey Devils)

Dueling Russians

This year’s NHL draft brings about a lot of talent, as it does year after year.  However, the crop of Russian players is not as copious as years past (most noticeably the 2010 NHL Entry Draft).  You will not find the likes of a Burmistrov, Tarasenko, Kuznetsov, Kabanov, Galiev, or Kitsyn.  But a new breed of Russian hockey player is quickly coming into the fold.  The two notables in this year’s draft are, the OHL’s, Vladislav Namestnikov and Alexander Khokhlachev.  Most likely first or second round draft picks, these two Russians have taken the next step in achieving their dreams of playing in the NHL by coming across the ocean from Russia to play in the top junior league in the world.

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FRWG Chats with Igor Bobkov of Team Russia

Coming off a remarkable win against Team Canada in the gold medal game at the World Juniors, Team Russia stunned the hockey world after erasing a 3-0 deficit in the third period to win 5-3. While the team needed it’s offensive spark to complete the turnaround it was netminder Igor Bobkov who was called into action to backstop his team to eventual victory. I had a chance to talk with Bobkov since his return back to the OHL’s London Knights about the game, life after, and playing in Canada. Below is the interview, enjoy.

How did you feel when you found out you were yet again selected to represent Russia at the national level?
I was glad of course, it was important to me to be selected to the junior national team in my last year of eligibility. Since things weren’t going too well for me in London, I needed to prove to myself that my game was still strong.
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Don’t Call it a Comeback They’ve Been Here for Years, Russia Defeats Canada 5-3

(courtesy of Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

They say good things come in threes and if you happened to play on this year’s Russian Junior National Team well tonight’s 5-3 win over Canada to win gold was the perfect end to what has been a monumental tournament. Coming back against Finland to reach the semi-finals, then coming back again to beat Sweden to reach the finals showed the character and spunk these new hero’s had.

Finding themselves down 3-0 entering the third period against the home crowd favorite Canada would leave little room for hope in many, this year’s group? Not even close. Led by Artemi Panarin, Russia scored five unanswered goals to not only complete a modern day “Miracle on Ice” but also retain gold for the junior squad for the first time since 2003.
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Russia Avenges Sweden in Shootout En Route to Gold Medal Game


(courtesy of Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Russia’s junior team is headed back to the gold medal game for the first time since 2007 after overcoming a late deficit to beat Sweden 4-3 in a shootout. A late goal by Sergei Kalinin tied things up for the Russians who let a 2-0 lead slip away. Goalie Dmitri Shikin stood on his head at times stopping 46 of 49 Sweden shots along with all 3 in the shootout.

Shikin originally started out the tournament on the bench but due to the team’s lackluster performance against Canada he has since taken the reigns and gone 4-1 stopping 123 shots of 133 faced. Russia will now face the winner of the US Canada game determined later this evening on Wednesday at 7:30 pm est.
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Buffalo means “Disappointment” in Russian

(courtesy of (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

It had always been a dream of mine to go to the World Junior Championships to watch some of the best young talent in the world assembled on their respective national teams.  Along with my trip to the games, FRWG is starting a new section of the site that focuses on Russian prospects from around the world, so what better place to start an article than with the Russian National Junior team. 

This event once showcased the likes of Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin who were the last ones to bring Gold for Russia at the World Juniors.  Needless to say, this Russian team had some shoes to fill, considering they organized a lackluster effort the year prior, failing to bring home a medal. 
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