Ducks’ prospects in showdown at WJCs Saturday.

Radoslav Illo, Jake Gardiner and Kyle Palmieri might all be side-by-side in Ducks uniforms someday. Maybe then they’ll take time to reflect on Saturday, when Gardiner and Palmieri gained the early edge in bragging rights.

Palmieri had an assist on one of Team USA’s seven goals, not to mention several hard hits, in a 7-3 victory over Team Slovakia in Saskatoon. Illo had two assists as Slovakia took an early 2-0 lead, thanks to a five-minute power play in the first period.

Palmieri (first round) and Illo (fifth round) were chosen by the Ducks in the 2009 Entry Draft; Gardiner, who was held scoreless, was chosen in the first round in 2008.

Team USA plays Switzerland, and defenseman prospect Luca Sbisa, at 1 p.m. today.

Also Saturday, Ducks prospect Brandon McMillan had a goal and an assist in Team Canada’s 16-0 laugher of a win over Latvia. Goaltender Igor Bobkov, a third-round pick in 2009, stopped 14 of 16 as Russia beat Austria 6-2.
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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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