Panthers prospects kick off opening day of WJC tourney

Hockey is back, albeit in international form, as the 2010 IIHF World Under 20 (Junior) Championship gets underway Sunday afternoon from Buffalo. We'll be following five Panthers prospects throughout the tournament, up to the Gold Medal match on January 5th.

Today's action - with a Florida bias - kicks off at 4 pm, with Russia taking on Canada; Cats' first-rounders Erik Gudbranson and Quinton Howden are featured.

At 8 pm Finland faces the United States in a game starring three Panthers products: Joonas Donskoi (FIN) hits the ice with American forwards Drew Shore and Nick Bjugstad.

None of the Florida prospects play again until Tuesday, which is just fine considering the Bruins visit Sunrise on Monday (live game chat, 6:30 pm).

Update:  Gudbranson - CAN (1g), Howden - CAN (1a), Bjugstad - USA (GWG in OT), Shore - USA (no points, 0 SOG), Donskoi - FIN (no points, 2 SOG)