Grigorenko produces, Makarov falters in final tune-up

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, December 23, 2012 | 12/23/2012

Mikhail Grigorenko scored the game winning goal and added an assist Sunday as Russia closed their World Junior exhibition schedule with a 7-5 win over Switzerland. Grigorenko set up former Quebec Remparts teammate Nikita Kucherov for the game's first goal just 50 seconds in. The stalwart centerman, who was flanked by Anton Slepyshev ('13) opposite Kucherov, scored on the power play to give Russia a 6-5 lead in the final minute of the second period before the clubs played a much tighter third period.

Andrey Makarov struggled in Sunday's win over the Swiss.
Sabres goaltending prospect Andrey Makarov was scheduled to play the game's first 30 minutes before giving way to Andrei Vasilevski, but was instead removed at the first intermission after allowing four goals prior to the break.

Despite a talented handful of forwards, it was thought that Russia's strength was going to be between the pipes, but that appears to no longer be the case. Despite being previously dubbed "a pair of number one goalies" by Team Russia's goaltending coach, both Makarov and Vasilevski have struggled in the pre-tourney games leaving the door open for Igor Ustinsky ('13) to possibly get a look if their play and/or psychology in the crease doesn't improve.

Russia opens pool play for the 2013 World Junior Championship Wednesday versus Slovakia.

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