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NHL on TSN Quiz: Which team wins gold at the World Juniors?

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TSN.ca Staff
1/4/2012 9:32:59 PM
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Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz, This week, it's a World Junior Edition.

As a follow-up, TSN.ca offers you the opportunity to chime in on all the big issues with our insiders. Read up on all the questions and answers, and put in your own two cents on our popular Your Call feature.

What was the decisive Russian advantage in the win over Canada?

Ray Ferraro: Skill. When you look at the way the Russians play the game, it's not a game played on the boards, it's a game played with the puck. When the Canadians made mistakes, the Russians had the players, led by Kuznetsov and Yakupov, to take advantage. They're highly skilled players.

Bob McKenzie: I would agree with that. I would say that it was skill, and specifically Kuznetsov. Canada could make some of the mistakes they made against other teams in the tournament but they couldn't make mistakes against these Russians and they made them pay. That was the difference.

Who has been Canada's best player in the tournament?

McKenzie: Mark Stone. From the beginning of the tournament, he scored the early goals and he scored in every game until the semi-final. Also, he has a bad hand and he had the flu but he still made some great plays against the Russians.

Ferraro: Brett Connolly. From Day 1 of the selection camp, he had a long hill to climb. Aside from scoring a goal in every game, what he brought to this team was an edge, a presence and some leadership. He was my best player.

Who has been the best overall player in the tournament?

Ferraro: Mikael Granlund. I absolutely love the way this guy plays the game. He has 11 points in the tournament and has a +6 rating. In the semi-final game, when he was totally gassed and didn't have great legs, I thought he played his rear-end off. He was as hard a competitor as I've seen.

McKenzie: Max Friberg. On New Year's Eve against the Russians and down by three, he scored the tying goal late and got an assist on the overtime goal. If there was a big goal to be had and the Swedes needed a win, Friberg got it.

Which goalie would you want most in net for the gold medal game?

McKenzie: Petr Mrazek. He was theatrical and that upset some people but he was lights-out good and he didn't break down as badly as some of the other goaltenders did. There were times when Finland's Sami Aittokallio dropped the ball and there were times when Russia's Andrei Vasilevski dropped the ball against Canada. There was one game where Mrazek wasn't great but I thought he was terrific.

Ferraro: Vasilevski. The 17-year-old has carried Russia to the gold medal game. Yes in the semi-final, he had some uneven moments but when the Russians were easing their way into the tournament, this kid was standing tall for them. He's going to be a first-round pick.

Which team wins the gold medal?

Ferraro: Sweden. Top to bottom, they're the best team. If their goaltender holds up, and I'm not so sure that he will, I'll take Sweden.

McKenzie: Russia. I think Sweden is the better team but the Swedes have been the better team in lots of World Juniors but they haven't won a gold medal since 1981. Maybe it will be different this year but the Russians almost seem like a team of destiny like last year. With the tragedy of two members of last year's team in the Lokomotiv crash, I think this is an inspired Russian team that realizes what's at stake.

Yevgeni Kuznetsov (Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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A Holiday Tradition

Gold Medal Game

Finland 3, Sweden 2 (OT)

Bronze Medal Game

Russia 2, Canada 1


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