World juniors notebook: Russia dominates Belarus, Canada narrowly avoids upset

Russia’s power play stayed hot against Belarus and powered the Russians to their third victory of the tournament. Russia now has total control of Group B. In Group A action, Canada came back from a 2-0 deficit to win in a shootout over Switzerland.

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A look at the fourth day of the 2016 World Junior Championship.

Russia 4, Belarus 1

This game was nowhere near as close as the score may suggest as Russia outshot Belarus 32-18 en route to a 4-1 victory. The Russian power play remained hot with two goals on three attempts, and Alexander Polunin powered Russia with two markers in the game.

Canada 3, Switzerland 2 (SO)

The Swiss put a serious scare into the Canadians and looked as though they were about to take a 2-0 lead into first intermission, but Dylan Strome scored on a sharp-angle shot to give Canada life. Joe Hicketts scored in the second to tie the game and Canada edged Switzerland in the shootout on goals by Brayden Point and Matt Barzal.

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Sunday’s Three Stars

1. Alexander Polunin, Russia

His power play goal in the first period stood as the game winner for Russia and he iced the game with Russia’s fourth goal in a 4-1 win.

2. Joren van Pottelberghe, Switzerland

The Swiss netminder stopped 32 shots, including 16 in the third period, to help earn Switzerland a single point against Canada.

3. Joe Hicketts, Canada

Hicketts was all over the ice for Canada and scored the game-tying goal. His move to jump into the play to score was excellent.

On tap:

Wednesday, December 30

Czech Republic (1-0-1) vs. Belarus (0-3-0), 7 a.m. ET

Sweden (2-0-0) vs. Denmark (1-1-0), 9 a.m. ET

Slovakia (1-1-0) vs. Finland (1-1-0), 11 a.m. ET

USA (1-1-0) vs. Switzerland (0-2-1), 1 p.m. ET