Canada East overcame an early Belarussian goal, to claim a 4-1 win in World Junior A Challenge action in Trail on Monday.
It was a wide open first period with a total of seven power plays, four for Belarus and three for Canada and numerous quality scoring chances. A power play marker by defenceman Dmitry Shumski gave Belarus an early lead, but Canada East rallied to tie on a shorthanded goal by Louke Oakley (Whitby, ON/ Bowmanville, OPJHL). Corey Trivino (Toronto, ON/ Stouffville, OPJHL) put Canada East ahead for the first time at 8:53 of the first period, on a spectacular solo effort, splitting the defence and beating Belarussian goaltender Vitali Trus on a deke, sliding a backhand into a wide open net.
Jordan Watts (Oakville, ON/ Aurora, OPJHL) made it 3-1 on a power play, carrying the puck into the zone, circling the net and firing a quick shot past Trus. Mike McLaughlin (Seaforth, ON/ Aurora, OPJHL) made it 4-1 towards the end of the middle frame, with a goal that chased Trus from the Belarussian goal, giving way to Valeriy Pronin.
Pronin was flawless in the third, withstanding four Canada East power plays and limiting the damage for Belarus. Bryan Gillis (Elmsdale, NS/ Antigonish, MJAHL) wasn't as busy but turned into a solid effort for Canada East, allowing only one goal on 23 shots.
"It's a good start," said Canada East head coach Jerome Dupont. "You want to win so that you can hopefully get through to Saturday without playing any more games than you need to. But I think it's going to be a tougher test on Wednesday when the Americans are be our opponents so we are really going to have to gear up for that."
In Nelson, Russia shook off a slow start to defeat Germany 6-2.
Action continues on Tuesday on two fronts, with the defending champions, Canada West opening up against Germany in Trail. This game will be webcast live at www.hockeycanada.ca. USA also opens up on Tuesday, facing Belarus in Nelson.
|Arena||Cominco Arena||City, Country||Trail, B.C.|
|Month / Day / Year||11/05/2007||Time||07:30 PM PT|
|Canada East (CAN E)||2||2||0||4|
|Canada East||1 Bryan Gillis||On 1/00:00||Off 3/20:00|
|Belarus||1 Vitali Trus||On 1/00:00||Off 2/16:59|
|31 Valeriy Pronin||On 2/17:00||Off 3/20:00|
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||Total|
|Player of the Game|
|Canada East||12 Corey Trivino|
|Belarus||26 Andrei Stas|