Kuznetsov cleans up awards

Russia captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov congratulates gold medallists Team Sweden during the World Junior...

Russia captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov congratulates gold medallists Team Sweden during the World Junior Hockey Championship in Calgary, Alta., Jan. 5, 2012. (LYLE ASPINALL/QMI Agency)

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:06 AM ET

CALGARY - Evgeni Kuznetsov didn't get the gold.

But he cleaned up all the individual awards.

The flamboyant Russian was named MVP of the most-attended world junior tournament in the event's history Thursday night.

He was also named the tourney's top forward and to the all-star team after winning the scoring title with 13 points, although nine came in a 14-0 pounding of Latvia.

“It would have been better if we would have won,” said Kuznetsov, who wasn’t as talkative as usual after the 1-0 overtime loss to the Swedes in the gold-medal game.

Swedish sniper Max Friberg, who probably deserved the MVP award after repeatedly coming through in the clutch for his team, had to settle for an all-star nod.

And a gold medal.

“It’s all about this one,” Friberg said, holding up his medal.

“Of course, I’m happy that (the media) liked my game.

“But this is what really matters.”

The Anaheim Ducks prospect had a hat-trick against Latvia and scored once and added a much-talked about shootout goal against the Swiss.

He had the game-winner in an easy win over Slovakia. He forced overtime with 40 seconds to go against the Russians on New Year’s Eve and then set up the overtime winner.

In Tuesday’s semifinal, the Swedes needed another late comeback against the Czechs and Friberg again scored the equalizer with 1:44 left — and then won it in the shootout.

Blueliner Brandon Gormley was Team Canada's lone representative on the tournament all-star team and was also named top defenceman.

The Phoenix Coyotes prospect had three goals and six points to lead all D-men in scoring.

It's the first time since 2001 (Jason Spezza) Canada had just one player named to the tournament all-star team. Canada's 1998 entry, which finished eighth, was the last team that failed to put anyone on the all-star squad.

Finn Mikael Granlund was the other forward on the all-star team while Edmonton Oilers prospect Oscar Klefbom (Sweden) was the remaining all-star defender.

Czech puckstopper Petr Mrazek was selected top goaltender and was also named to the all-star squad.

Kuznetsov ended a run of five straight Canadian MVPs at the world juniors.

Current Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn was named tournament MVP at last year’s event in Buffalo. Jordan Eberle (2010), John Tavares (2009), Steve Mason (2008) and Carey Price (2007) were the others.

The last non-Canadian to pick up MVP honours was Pittsburgh Penguins sniper Evgeni Malkin in 2006.

Schenn, Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen were named to the all-star team last year.

WORLD JUNIOR AWARDS

MVP: Evgeni Kuznetsov (Russia)

BEST FORWARD: Evgeni Kuznetsov (Russia)

BEST DEFENCEMAN: Brandon Gormley (Canada)

BEST GOALTENDER: Petr Mrazek (Czech)

ALL-STAR TEAM

Goalie: Petr Mrazek (Czech)

Defencemen: Brandon Gormley (Canada), Oscar Klefbom (Sweden)

Forwards: Max Friberg (Sweden), Evgeni Kuznetsov (Russia) and Mikael Granlund (Finland)

scott.fisher@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNScottFisher


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