Photo credit: Francois Laplante

Thanks to his nine-point game versus the LatviansEvgeny Kuznetsov was already the talk of the World Junior Championship before the semifinal game on Tuesday night, but his star-making performance in Russia’s 6-5 victory over Canada has made him the premiere young hockey talent in the world.

The Canadians recovered from a second period meltdown — which ended with them down 6-1– to mount a dramatic comeback in the third with 4 unanswered goals in 5 minutes. The game ended before Canada could close the gap.

Goals from Alexander Khokhlachev, Nikita Nesterov and Nikita Kucherov aided the Russians, but it was Kuznetsov’s three goals that shattered Canada’s confidence. Drafted 26th by the Capitals in 2010, Kuznetsov scored all three of his goals at even strength and assisted on Khokhlachev’s goal.

Kuznetsov recorded his second hat trick of the tournament.

This is Kuznetsov’s second year in the WJC tournament, which Team Russia won last year. The Russians will now face Sweden in the gold-medal game.

Active officials stifled the game’s pace, doling out 81 penalty minutes in a spirited game between rivals. Kuznetsov endured a spear from Boone Jenner and an uncalled slash during a breakaway.

Evgeny Kuznetsov’s profile in the Canadian hockey media is higher than ever, and the scrutiny he receives will only intensify as he competes in the final round of the WJC and prepares to join the Washington Capitals, expected for the start of the 2012-2013 season.

Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.

  • Guest

    Eric Francis is just mad that Canada lost and decided to take it out on team Russia’s player of the game. I didn’t really see Kuzya do anything that made him selfish?

  • Ajaxdesperados

    Let them write what they want. Who cares? We won! 
    I have seen such shitty judging only once in my life.

  • Michael01a

    Eric, you are the horrible excuse for a journalist and an epitome of jealous

    haters gonna hate


  • Bsrfromtheneck

    Wow – Canadas answer to getting their ass kick was to slash and spear and you take shots at a
    19 year old kid. Nice display of maturity you F in Douchebag.

  • Tiago Cardoso

    Russia vs Canada Rivalry – World Junior Hockey Championship

    International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-20 Championship

    IIHF U20 WJHC – Gold/Silver/Bronze/Total Medals

    Russia 16/09/7/32
    Canada 15/10/5/30

    Russia 1974, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 83, 84, 86, 89, 92, 99, 02, 03, 11
    Canada 1982, 85, 88, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09

    Russia 1988, 90, 91, 95, 98, 00, 05, 06, 07
    Canada 1975, 76, 77, 86, 99, 02, 03, 04, 10, 11

    Russia 1981, 85, 94, 96, 97, 08, 09
    Canada 1974, 78, 83, 00, 01

    Russia 1975, 76, 77, 86, 99, 02, 03, 11
    Canada 1988, 90, 91, 95, 05, 06, 07 


    1974 Soviet Union…- 1st Soviet Union 9×0 Canada 3rd (Round-robin tournament)
    1975 Canada/USA…..- 1st Soviet Union 4×3 Canada 2nd
    1976 Finland……..- 1st Soviet Union 5×2 Canada 2nd
    1977 Czechoslovakia – 1st Soviet Union 6×4 Canada 2nd
    1978 Canada………- 1st Soviet Union 3×2 Canada 3rd (Championship round)
    1979 Sweden………- 1st Soviet Union -x- Canada 5th
    1980 Finland……..- 1st Soviet Union 8×5 Canada 5th (Preliminary round)
    1981 West Germany…- 3rd Soviet Union 7×3 Canada 7th (Preliminary round)
    1983 Soviet Union…- 1st Soviet Union 7×3 Canada 3rd
    1984 Sweden………- 1st Soviet Union 3×3 Canada 4th *
    1986 Canada………- 1st Soviet Union 4×1 Canada 2nd
    1989 United States..- 1st Soviet Union 7×2 Canada 4th
    1992 Germany……..- 1st CIS/USSR…..7×2 Canada 6th
    1998 Finland……..- 2nd Russia…….2×1 Canada 8th (Quarterfinal)
    1999 Canada………- 1st Russia…….3×2 Canada 2nd (Final)
    2000 Sweden………- 2nd Russia…….3×2 Canada 3rd (Semifinal)
    2002 Czech Republic – 1st Russia…….2×5 Canada 2nd (Preliminary round) *
    ………………….1st Russia…….5×4 Canada 2nd (Final)
    2003 Canada………- 1st Russia…….3×2 Canada 2nd (Final)
    2011 United States..- 1st Russia…….3×6 Canada 2nd (Preliminary round) *
    ………………….1st Russia…….5×3 Canada 2nd (Final) [2–0, 1–0, 0–5]
    2012 Canada………- … Russia…….6×5 Canada … (Semifinal) [2-0, 3-1, 1-4]


    1982 USA/Canada…..- 1st Canada 7×0 Soviet Union 4th
    1985 Finland……..- 1st Canada 5×0 Soviet Union 3rd
    1987 Czechoslovakia – 7th Canada 4×2 Soviet Union 8th (Punch-up in Piestany)
    1988 Soviet Union…- 1st Canada 3×2 Soviet Union 2nd
    1990 Finland……..- 1st Canada 6×4 Soviet Union 2nd
    1991 Canada………- 1st Canada 3×2 Soviet Union 2nd
    1993 Sweden………- 1st Canada 9×1 Russia…….6th
    1994 Czech Republic – 1st Canada 3×3 Russia…….3rd *
    1995 Canada………- 1st Canada 8×5 Russia…….2nd
    1996 United States..- 1st Canada 4×3 Russia…….3rd (Semifinal)
    1997 Switzerland….- 1st Canada 3×2 Russia…….3rd (Semifinal)
    2001 Russia………- 3rd Canada 1×3 Russia…….7th (Preliminary round) *
    2004 Finland……..- 2nd Canada -x- Russia…….5th
    2005 United States..- 1st Canada 6×1 Russia…….2nd (Final)
    2006 Canada………- 1st Canada 5×0 Russia…….2nd (Final)
    2007 Sweden………- 1st Canada 4×2 Russia…….2nd (Final)
    2008 Czech Republic – 1st Canada -x- Russia…….3rd
    2009 Canada………- 1st Canada 6×5 Russia…….3rd (Semifinal) [GWS]
    2010 Canada………- 2nd Canada -x- Russia…….6th

  • Pingback: Highlights from Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Hat Trick and Russia’s 6-5 Win Over Canada()

  • Rj

    A pretty rowdy hockey blog all about the Washington Capitals and some Russian dudes: Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, and EVGENY KUZNETSOV

  • Is a “player” different from a “hockey player”?  I’m just confused.  That would be like saying. “This Francis is a heck of a writer but a horrible excuse for a sports writer or a professional. #perfectforcherry”

  • Also, he had better be talking about the Latvia game in the second tweet because otherwise he might look like an idiot who didn’t notice that goal 6 was actually the game winner.

  • Gracie

    I was just reading Bryz and Ovi’s tweets. Can anyone explain the importance of right parenthesis?? My guess is some type of emoticon, but it still baffles me

  • In Russian internet, “)” is a short version of “:)” with “)))))))” meaning “:D”

  • serpent

    Frencis is Cherry-fied

  • Hockeypunk76

    haha eric, you mad bro?

  • AL

    Stay ‘pressed, Eric Francis.

  • Peter


  • Rslewis13

    Pretty sure I saw Canadian players skate all the way to center ice and belly flop in celebration of a goal. Kuz is a legit player, you get upset at him for being speared, but it makes you look like the child.

  • Peter


  • Guest

    He captained his team to a huge win over their arch-rival, in enemy territory – replicating his feat from last year, when he put that team on his shoulders to also beat Canada, stacked with 15 1st-rounders – yeah, he sounds like a terrible teammate all right.  Nice try don cherry – I mean, eric francis.

  • Guest

    This is his third year at tournament, he was there the previous year before Buffalo when it was held in Saskatchewan in 2010.  🙂

  • Joni

    More Canadian Russian prejudice.  If your a talented Russian player… must be selfish.  Same song, same dance.

  • Joni

    Those Canadians, if there not throwing epitaphs against Blacks, its prejudiced comments against Russians.  

  • Peter


  • Guest

    Wow he is really butt hurt about Team Canada loosing.

  • For123

    Can anyone please tell me what the name of the Ruddian goal celebration song is called in this WJC??


  • Pingback: Russia Falls to Sweden 1-0 (OT) in Gold Medal Game; Evgeny Kuznetsov Named 2012 WJC MVP()

  • As a transplanted Calgarian in DC and a Caps fan, let me apologize for Eric Francis to all of you Caps fans.

    Eric Francis is a hack writer in most Flames fan circles, he writes ridiculous stories not to inform readers, but to instigate a controversy to sell papers to the lowest common denominator audience. Yeah, it was a bad loss for Canada to an arch rival, but it’s not like every team at WJC wasn’t guilty of over celebrating. And really who cares, it was a rivalry between to arch-rivals if you can’t show some emotion on thumping them, what’s the point of playing the game. What Kuznetsov did was nothing worse than what Dustin Bfyulglen did to the Canucks (which every Flames fan will tell you was priceless).

    Anyways, Francis is a hack and embarrassment to the city. A couple of months ago, he was saying the Iginla needed to be dumped for a series of picks and now that he’s scored 500 goals, he saying he should be kept as a treasure of the city. The guy is flake and only writes for the moment, which is exactly what he was building on with the Kuyza.

    His comments on Kruznetsov were a joke and trying to paint every member of the Caps Organization as immature was the markings of writer just trying to stir up a controversy. For anyone who’s paid any attention to the Caps organization, will attest to, this is a model franchise in the NHL.

  • Anonymous

    Francis ripped Kuznetsov even more in a column titled “Grow up, Kuznetsov” in which he also took shots at the Caps Russian players.Gee, only missed his penchant for wearing white after labor day and forgetting to floss. By why dwell on pendantics, when Francis’s intrepid reporter skills could lead us right to Kuznetsov’s super villian lair? No doubt headed by Pavel datsyuk…seeing as he has very few obvious personal or game flaws, he must be up to something, right?