Russia’s Igor Bobkov Set To Take On The World at WJC

But the big London Knights goalie expects to be in the crease Boxing Day in Buffalo when the Russian world junior team takes on a Canadian squad eager to prove it has enough firepower.

“All goalies want to start,” said the six-foot-six, 240-pound Anaheim Ducks prospect, who leaves Sunday to join a Russian pre-tourney camp in upstate New York.

In London, the 19-year-old Bobkov is the backup to younger and undrafted American Michael Houser, arguably the Knights MVP so far who made his fifth straight start Friday night against the powerful Owen Sound Attack at the John Labatt Centre.

Of course, Bobkov wants to play more than he has this season. But he explains the frustration in his usual laid back way.

“Goaltending, it’s all up here,” he said, pointing at his head.

Last year at the world juniors in Saskatoon, Bobkov was a standout for a disappointing Russian squad that finished out of the medals. He and his mates want to redeem themselves this time, starting with the Dec. 26 game against the Canadians.

“Very angry,” he said about last year’s quarterfinal flame out. “In Russia, it’s the same way. Gold or nothing. Fourteen hours, long trip (home on the plane).”

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