Rss

Russia’s U20 team was in action and featured two Vancouver Canucks prospects playing in very different roles.

The Karjala Cup kicked off on Thursday and that meant that Canucks prospects Vasili Podkolzin and Dmitri Zlodeyev were in action as the Russian team looks to help determine their final roster for the World Junior Championships in December.

Podkolzin was set to be on the first line while Zlodeyev was in the lineup but being used as an extra forward.

It was a great first period for the Russian U20 team as they took on a Finnish team of professionals. Russia scored three goals in the first period and won the physical battle, which was noticeable early on. It felt like the Russian U20 players were physically bullying their opponents and they had the goals to back it up.

Neither Zlodeyev nor Podkolzin were on the ice for the first two Russia goals but Podkolzin struck later in the period with a beautiful move to the net before setting up a goal with the primary assist.

Podkolzin was used as the first penalty killer and also as the net-front presence on the first powerplay unit. He received a ton of ice time in the period and was strong in all areas of the ice.

Here was a nice defensive play by Podkolzin on the penalty kill. He typically blocks a ton of shots when killing penalties but here he uses his stick to break up a pass and clear the zone all in one swipe.

Zlodeyev did not see any ice time in the first period. He likely needed Russia to score a few more goals before head coach Igor Larionov let him grab some ice time.

The second period was much of the same as Russia scored two goals and Finland scored one. Podkolzin got in on the action as he had the second assist on the fifth goal.

Zlodeyev was without any ice time through 40 minutes.

Podkolzin played a ton of minutes and was used on both special teams units. His line didn’t look like the most dominant for Russia at even strength but he looked to be one of the best players on the ice in this game when it came to possessing the puck. Russia’s U20 team looks strong in the early part of this tournament.

The Russian’s continued their dominance in the third period and would end up winning the game 6-2.

Podkolzin was one of the more dominant players in this game as his two assists show only a part of how he played.

Dmitri Zlodeyev finally got some ice time late in the game as he found time on both special team units with the 6-2 lead. He looked good on his one penalty-killing shift and played the slot during his short power play time. He looked a bit out of place on the power play but it was nice to see coach Larionov give him a bit of time after he was stapled to the bench for the first 55 minutes of the game.

Russia’s next matchup in the Karjala Cup is Saturday as they take on Sweden. We will have you covered with all the updates from that game.