The first game of the Canada-Russia series took over the Sandman Centre Monday night (Nov. 5), with the Canadians walking away with a 2-1 victory.
Game 1 of the six-game series featured Canadian WHL players from across B.C, the prairie provinces and northwestern USA taking on Russian players from Russian leagues (and one from the WHL). Last night's win marked the ninth time the CHL team won the opening game of the series.
Team WHL opened the scoring late in the first period, when a shot from Lethbridge Hurricanes centre Dylan Cozens made its way past Russian goalie Daniil Tarasov just as a Russian penalty wrapped up. That lead didn't last long though; as the crowd settled down, Russian captain Pavel Shen (who had been in the penalty box) returned the favour just 26 seconds after Cozens' goal.
The second period passed by relatively uneventfully, leaving the score even heading into the third. Just past the halfway mark of the period, another Hurricane rippled the mesh, as Jordy Bellerive popped a quick shot from short range past Tarasov.
The two teams head to Langley for a game tonight before Russia heads east to face the OHL and QMJHL teams. Russia had the edge on penalties (six minors compared to the WHL's four) and shots (28 to 23). Attendance was well short of sold out at the Kamloops arena, with 4,438 hockey fans in the stands.