LASALLE, Ont. – Valeri Nichushkin, Yevgeni Zakurin and Sergei Tolchinski scored in the third period as Russia locked up a semifinal spot at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 6-3 win over West on Monday night.
The win, coupled with the United States’ victory over Pacific, means Russia (3-1) finishes second in Group B and will face the defending gold medallists from Ontario in Tuesday’s late semifinal in Windsor (7 p.m. ET).
Nichushkin scored twice, while Ivan Barbashev and Alexei Zakarlyukin had the other goals for the Russians, who are in the final four for the second consecutive time at the U17 tournament; they lost 6-4 to Ontario in the semifinals in 2010 in Timmins, Ont.
Denis Bosc (Dufresne, Man./Steinbach, MJHL), Cory Millette (Storthoaks, Sask./Red Deer, WHL) and Jordan Tkatch (Prud’homme, Sask./Prince George, WHL) scored the goals for West (0-4), which knew it could finish no higher than fifth in Group B but could have spoiled Russia’s semifinal chances with a victory. It is the first Canadian team to go winless in the preliminary round since Quebec went 0-4 in 2005 in Lethbridge, Alta.
West will conclude its tournament Tuesday when it takes on Germany in LaSalle in the ninth-place game (2 p.m. ET).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)