Yaroslavl, RUS – Team Canada skated to a 3-2 win over Russia in the opening game of the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge in Yaroslavl, Russia, on Thursday.
Sean Monahan, Scott Harrington and Dougie Hamilton all scored in the second period for the Canadians as they took a 3-1 lead into the third period and held on for the series-opening win. Defenceman Morgan Rielly of the Moose Jaw Warriors picked up an assist on Monahan’s game-opening goal.
Anton Slepyshev and Nail Yakupov scored for the Russians, who pressed hard in the third period but couldn’t find a way past a tough Canadian defence and the goaltending of Malcolm Subban.
Subban turned in a strong performance, kicking aside 19 of 21 shots he faced, including 11 of 12 shots in the third period to earn the win for Canada. Andrei Vasilevski turned aside 25 of 28 shots for Russia in the defeat.
Canada’s power play proved to be a difference-maker in the contest, connecting for two goals on five opportunities. Russia went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
The teams will meet up again for Game 2 of the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge on Friday in Yaroslavl before heading back to Canada for Games 3 and 4 in Halifax on Monday and Tuesday of next week.
For more on the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge and to follow Team Canada, visit www.hockeycanada.ca