Sabres prospect Zadorov leads Russia into world junior semis - The Buffalo News

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Sabres prospect Zadorov leads Russia into world junior semis

MALMO, Sweden — Russia beat the United States, 5-3, in the world junior hockey quarterfinals Thursday, rallying to take the lead on Nakita Zadorov’s two power-play goals.

Zadorov, property of the Buffalo Sabres, scored on 5-on-3 advantages in a 1:01 span in the second period to give Russia a 4-3 lead. The 6-foot-4 defenseman plays for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League.

Russia will face Sweden, a 6-0 winner over Slovakia, in the semifinals Saturday. In the other quarterfinals, Canada beat Switzerland, 4-1, and Finland topped the Czech Republic, 5-3.

“We want to play Sweden,” Zadorov said before the Swedes’ victory. “It was a close game last time, a 3-2 loss, and we’re going to watch some video and play better.”

Pavel Buchnevich also scored twice for Russia, Buffalo Sabres center Mikhail Grigorenko added a goal, and Andrei Vasilevski made 30 saves.

“The power plays were the game-changer,” said Grigorenko, who has two goals and an assist in 18 games for Buffalo this season. “We scored two goals. We took the lead, and we kept it. Those two 5-on-3s in a row were the key.

“This game made us a better team today than we were yesterday. I think we deserved to win. Hopefully, we can keep the same energy, same compete level for the semifinals.”

New Jersey Devils farmhand Stefan Matteau, Plymouth Whalers forward Ryan Hartman and Wisconsin’s Nic Kerdiles had first-period goals for the United States, the tournament winner last year in Russia.

“Penalties,” said Matteau, off for tripping when Zadorov scored the tying goal. “They buried their chances.

Russia has won the under-20 event 13 times, the first nine as the Soviet Union.

Canada advanced to the semifinals for the 16th straight year. It won the last of its record 15 titles in 2009 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Anthony Mantha scored on a penalty shot, beating Marvin Nyffeler with a backhander, for Canada.

Sweden, 5-0-0 in the tournament, is seeking its third title and second in three years.

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