Russia, U.S. cruise at world juniors

Updated: December 31, 2008, 12:29 AM ET
Associated Press

OTTAWA -- The United States coasted into the world junior hockey championship playoffs with a 12-0 rout of Kazakhstan on Tuesday night.

The U.S. will play Canada in a matchup of 3-0-0 teams Wednesday with the top spot in Group A on the line.

Kazakhstan (0-3-0) will head to the relegation round.

Aaron Palushaj lead the U.S. with two goals and two assists. Colin Wilson also had two goals, while James van Riemsdyk and Ian Cole each had a goal and two assists. Matt Rust, Mitch Wahl, Drayson Bowman, Mike Hoeffel, Jimmy Hayes and Danny Kristo had the other U.S. goals. Kevin Shattenkirk added three assists.

Goaltender Thomas McCollum made 10 saves to earn the shutout.

Andrei Yankov made 49 saves on 61 shots for Kazakhstan.

Also Tuesday, Nikita Filatov scored three goals and Russia remained perfect with an 8-1 win over Slovakia.

Filatov opened the scoring at 2:12 of the first period and then scored power-play goals at 4:29 and 9:15 of the second to give the Russians leads of 4-1 and 6-1. He later added a third-period assist. Filatov, the No. 6 overall pick of Columbus in the 2008 draft, had one goal in four games this season with the Blue Jackets.

Defensemen accounted for three of the other five Russian goals with Maxim Goncharov scoring twice and Igor Golovkov once.

Slovakia goalie Zdenko Kotvan was taken out of the game after Golovkov's goal. Kotvan allowed five goals on 17 shots just nine minutes into the second period. Jaroslav Janus finished the game stopping 11 of 14 shots.

Sergei Andronov had a goal and three assists while Sergei Korostin had the game's final goal. Maxim Chudinov had four assists for Russia, which is 3-0-0 in Group B play and will face Sweden (3-0-0) on Wednesday afternoon.

The winner will clinch the group and advance to the semifinals on Saturday while the loser will play a quarterfinal game Friday.

Adam Bezak scored for Slovakia past Russian goalie Vadim Zhelobnyuk, who finished the game with 26 saves. Bezak scored at 13:12 of the opening period to tie the game 1-1.

Slovakia (1-2-0) will play its final game of the preliminary round Wednesday against Finland, which improved to 1-2-0 with a 5-1 win over Latvia. Mikael Granlund scored twice. Tomi Sallinen, Nestori Lahde and Antti Roppo also scored for Finland. Roberts Jekimovs scored for Latvia.

Also, the Czech Republic earned a spot in the playoff round with a 6-0 win over Germany. Ondrej Roman scored a pair of goals.

Tomas Knotek, Radko Gudas, David Stich and Zdenek Okal added goals for the Czechs (1-2-0), while Milan Doczy, Jan Kana and Tomas Kundratek had two assists each.

Dominik Furch stopped 18 shots to earn the shutout.

Timo Pielmeier made 47 saves in defeat for the Germans (1-3-0).


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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