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LaCouture Picks Russia; Boychuk Leads Canada

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Dan LaCouture's back-and-forth flirtation with the Kontinental Hockey League is over, with the veteran forward deciding to leave the Albany River Rats and head to Russia. There are comments here from Albany GM/coach Jeff Daniels courtesy the Schenectady Daily Gazette, and also Jim Rutherford's take at LSB (soon to be Canes Now).

Pete Dougherty at the Times-Union also has some Rats news, most notably an injury to Tim Conboy.

Finally, prospect Zach Boychuk potted two more goals for Canada last night in a 5-1 win over Germany at the World Juniors in Ottawa. He now has three goals and three assists in three games, with the much-anticipated Group A matchup between Canada (3-0) and Team USA (2-0) set for New Year's Eve at 7:30 p.m. (available on the NHL Network in the States, TSN in Canada). Boychuk will face fellow Canes draft pick Drayson Bowman, who has two goals in two games for the United States. The winner of the game will likely win Group A (which also consists of the Czech Republic, Kazakahstan and the Germans) and get a bye into the tournament seminfinals. The much stronger Group B is still wide open, with Russia and Sweden both 2-0, Slovakia 1-1, and Finland and Latvia at 0-2.

Bowman recently got some love in this article by Kevin Allen of USA Today while Boychuk is getting his due in this game recap by the Canadian Press. There is another article about Boychuk and the bond he has with his talented twin sister here.