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Author: Evgeny Belashchenko (RussianProspects Exclusive)Date: 12/27/2004
Russia vs. USA Detailed Game Notes: Belov and Megalinsky - Russia's top performing defensive pairing

2005 U20 World Junior ChampionshipsFORWARDS
LINE 1: Ovechkin - Pestunov - Lisin
Overall:
An effective unit all together, but Lisin and Ovechkin tended to make the weather on this line...known for being an individualistic player, Lisin fed the puck to Ovechkin on quite a few occasions and played responsible hockey in every zone. He did not help out much defensively however. Pestunov needs to step up his game to set up his speedy linemates, as he is not doing that currently.
#8 Ovechkin - great chance in the second period with 10 minutes left - one timed it - but the goalie was square on the shot.
#12 Pestunov - Fast forward...lack of size hurt him during the game...he is heavy, but short and was easily shut down by the American defense...tried to interact with Lisin and Ovechkin, but did not appear to be enough of a playmaker to make a significant impact.
#26 Lisin - very fast and has really learned to interact well with his linemates...passed the puck to Ovechkin on quite a few occasions...good decision making with the puck - often him and Ovechkin streak together into the offensive zone and he feeds the puck to Ovechkin.

LINE 2: Shirokov - Malkin - Parshin
Overall: Very effective, speedy unit...pass the puck a lot and pass it well. Had a great scoring chance five minutes into the third period - all three players had great shots and opportunities, but Montoya stood his ground...had a good chance 13 minutes into the third period when Malkin made a great feed to Parshin, who was one on one with Montoya. Parshin shot the puck and Montoya made a leg save on the wrist shot. This line will have trouble against larger teams like Slovakia, Canada and USA due to the small size of Parshin and Shirokov. It may shine during games against lesser opponents, but against key opponents this line will struggle. Nikulin may be a better option on the wing on this line.
#29 Shirokov - got a breakaway with two minutes left in the first period, forced his way into the zone, but was taken down by a defenseman into the net...got a penalty shot, Malkin was going to take it, but Shirokov was forced to take it by the refs...beat the goalie glove side with a nice wrist shot...skated on the second line with Malkin and Parshin.
#17 Malkin - Played well...hard to knock down...very effective playmaker and sees the ice well...not physical, but plays in traffic well...had a solid game and effectively used his speedy linemates...played well defensively.
#27 Parshin - A small guy, but is aggressive and doesn't hesitate to mix it up...good work ethic and works hard on defense as well...got into a scuffle with Team USA players midway through the second period...very effective speedy unit with Shirokov and Malkin...had a great chance 13 minutes into the third period when Malkin made a great feed to Parshin, who was one on one with Montoya. Parshin shot the puck and Montoya made a leg save on the wrist shot...

LINE 3: Nikulin - Shafigullin - Galimov
Overall: The line had a few scoring chances...did not play that well together, interacting a bit, but most chances were first passes out of the defensive zone and individual efforts into the zone.
#21 Nikulin - Had a very good chance with two minutes left in the game - intercepted the puck on USA's blue line, skated into the zone, but shot the puck right into the goaltender.
#19 Shafigullin - very aggressive and quick...skates well and has an impressive top speed...skated on Russia's last line in a mainly defensive/checking role.
#11 Galimov - made a great move to the net minutes into the first period - threading the puck through two defensemen, but couldn't get a solid shot through.

LINE 4: Voloshenko - Yunkov - Radulov
Overall: Did not play well on the smaller ice and had trouble getting out of the neutral zone. This line had difficulty against the more physical, bigger opponents.
#25 Voloshenko - skating still a concern - not bad, but only slightly above average...did not have the jump to beat an opponent...couldn't make things happen on a potential breakaway because he was beaten to the puck on the boards...
#23 Yunkov - Did not stand out...played reliable defensively.
#22 Radulov - Good speed...did not stand out against more physical opponents...had trouble getting through the neutral zone..

DEFENSE:
PAIRING 1: Vorobiev - Ezhov

#6 Vorobiev - a good top speed, but not much above average...ventured into the offensive zone for a while late in the second period with some success, but couldn't really get beyond the boards..
#24 Ezhov - Assistant captain of the team...had an overall good showing at this game, playing responsible defense...did not stand out...did not participate much on offense...made a terrible mistake 12 minutes into the third period, when he skated the puck up and then made a very weak pass that was easily intercepted by the US player, fortunately he wasn't the last man out of the zone and Vorobiev came and helped out.

PAIRING 2: Misharin - Rylov
#7 Rylov -
was on the ice for first US goal - paired up with Misharin...Misharin made the mistake -but Rylov didn't get over on time...scored Russia's first goal with a nice blue line slapshot right underneath the cross bar...Rylov and Misharin were not very effective defensively...Rylov made some mistakes early on in the first period...made a nice block on a shot 13 minutes into the first - with his cup...sees the ice well and improved his bearings in the second period compared to the first...possesses an impressive slapshot.
#15 Misharin - Average top speed...good decision-making, but had trouble keeping up with faster opponents...other than speed, solid in the defensive zone.

PAIRING 3: Emelin - Panin
#20 Emelin -
didn't hesitate to put his body into play...caused a turnover in his own zone 13 minutes into the second period...skated back with two USA players on him and instead of clearing it on the opposite boards tried to turn around and US players caused the turnover, but he stayed with the action...got called for a penalty with 15 minutes left in the second period - put on a good hit on a US player and got called for high-sticking ...can make a very good first pass out of the zone.
#5 Panin - does not impress defensively, was called on an unnecessary penalty, and then was out of position on USA's second goal.

PAIRING 4: Belov - Megalinsky
#3 Belov -
very impressive - Russia's safest most reliable defenseman thus far in the tournament...good size, reach and made good decisions with the puck and without the puck...good positioning

Related Player Profiles: . A.Belov A.Emelin D.Ezhov A.Galimov A.Khudobin E.Lisin E.Malkin D.Megalinsky G.Misharin A.Nikulin A.Ovechkin G.Panin D.Parshin D.Pestunov A.Radulov Y.Rylov G.Shafigullin S.Shirokov R.Voloshenko D.Vorobiev M.Yunkov
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