Photo: Forward Vladimir Tkachev has been the scoring star so far for Russia at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)
The preliminary round has come and gone at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, and Groups A and B each featured one fairly dominant team.
Photo: Plymouth Whalers forward and Florida Panthers prospect Vince Trocheck, shown here playing for the Saginaw Spirit, is looking to secure his second title in 2012-13 after winning gold with the USA at the 2013 U20 WJC (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Plymouth Whalers are looking to storm the castle and prevent a second-consecutive OHL coronation of the London Knights — and they’ll be relying on their own scoring king to lead the charge.
Photo: Soo Greyhounds forward Sergei Tolchinsky adjusted well to the North American during his OHL rookie season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The host country for the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, Russia, completed the preliminary round with a perfect 4-0 record after defeating the Czech Republic, 5-2, in their final match of the opening round.
Photo: Team Canada forward Sam Bennett, shown here playing for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, is making his first appearance at the U18 World Juniors (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Team Canada won their first two contests at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, over Slovakia and Germany, but neither were in as convincing a fashion as might have been expected. But, in Canada's 10-1 win over Switzerland, the Canadians seemed to have all aspects of their game operating like a well-oiled machine as they head into their key match-up versus Sweden.
Photo: Team Canada’s U18 squad will feature the usual complement of offensive talent, perhaps none more talented than OHL Rookie of the Year Connor McDavid (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Canadian national team coach Don Hay is heading to Sochi as a man with a great deal of experience ranging from the NHL (Calgary and Phoenix) right on down to over 20 years of experience in Canadian juniors, having won the Memorial Cup on three separate occasions. Now it’ll be his duty to quickly turn an extremely talented group of young men into a championship caliber team.