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WJC: Canada Survives Scare; USA-Russia at 9 AM

In a game riddled with controversy, Canada overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 to beat Slovakia 6-3 and move into first place in Group B at the World Junior Hockey Championships. Next up in Ufa: the highly anticipated game between the US and Russia, which will air live on the NHL Network at 9 AM.

The Canada-Slovakia game saw two Canadian players assessed five-minute majors and ejected on calls that were probably questionable by North American standards. J.C. Lipon got the gate in the first period for a high check on Tomas Mikus. The IIHF has very harsh punishments for contact to the head, and as such, it was a major infraction despite not being the hardest hit. Anthony Camara was then ejected after laying the lumber in the second period on a Slovak player. He kept his elbow down and the hit didn't seem late to me, but he was called for charging and could be criticized for leaving his feet a bit on the hit.

Here's the hit; you be the judge.

Anthony Camara hits Patrik Luza at the WJC 12/28/12 (via dafoomie)

Despite being down to 10 forwards, Canada wore out the pesky and determined Slovaks, cashing in on some questionable calls themselves. Big Canadian defenders Dougie Hamilton and Mark Scheifele did their best BU hockey impressions, exaggerating minor contact and drawing a pair of power plays that Canada used to level the game 3-3. Scheifele's offense was particularly egregious has he's 6'3'' and was "sent flying" by a shove from a 5'9" Slovak forward. Dougie Hamilton was at least legitimately high sticked, but he seemed to exaggerate the impact to draw the call.

Hopefully the theatrics don't carry over into the US-Russia game.

Other stories from this morning: Finland suffered a surprising 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic, playing in their first game since losing Miro Aaltonen to a broken ankle. Additionally, Matt Grzelcyk was officially announced as the last cut from the US team and presumably will rejoin BU for their upcoming games.

Because I am crazy and decided to take today off when the WJC schedule came out, I will be watching the US-Russia game live and discussing it on Twitter, as well as recapping the game here. Feel free to comment here or on Twitter if you'll be watching, too. Go US & go #GaudreaubeyBaker.