BANFF, Alta. -- Jason Young scored two goals and assisted on three others to pace Canada's National Team to a 5-1 victory over the Japanese Olympic team on Wednesday night in the first game of a six-game series between the two national teams.
Veteran forward Dean Evason had a goal and four assists for Canada, while the third member of Canada's top line, Steve Junker, had a goal and two assists.
Kunihiko Sakurai scored the only goal for Japan, who were overmatched by Canada's talent and obviously not accustomed to the more physical style of play in North America. But Team Japan played with plenty of intensity and had an outstanding game from goaltender Shinichi Iwasaki.
Iwasaki made two bang-bang saves on Matt Sharrers at 13:42 of the second period and made a brilliant pad save on Ron Pasco, who zoomed in on a breakaway from centre ice at 9:30 of the third period.
Iwasaki faced 42 shots, but the pressure was on in another significant way. Backup goalie Jiro Nihei was sick with the flu and did not even dress for the first game of the series.
Andy Murray's club picked up two university players -- defenceman Evan Marble and forward Todd Johnson, both of the University of Calgary Dinosaurs -- for the first game of the series and plan to add college and junior players for each game along the tour.
On Friday night, the two clubs play in Drayton Valley and two players from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology -- forward Wade Fenning and defenceman Keith Randall.
On Saturday night at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary, for Team Canada's only game this season at its training base. That game also kicks off Royal Bank Canadian Hockey Week, a seven-day celebration of hockey, and especially of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who form the foundation of our national pastime from coast to coast.
The game will be preceded by a coaching clinic featuring national team coaches Murray and Johnston, as well as guest coach Brent Devost, head coach of the Calgary Northstars of the Alberta Triple-A Midget League.
There will also be a Toonie-toss during the first intermission of Saturday night's game in which fans fling toonie-filled envelopes at targets on the ice. Those closest to the targets will win Canadian Hockey merchandise as prizes.
The toonie-toss will be a cross-Canada feature during Royal Bank Canadian Hockey Week at junior hockey games.
1. Canada, Dean Evason (Steve Junker, Jason Young) 5:09
2. Canada, Jason Young (Ryan Duthie, Dean Evason) 8:12 PP
3. Japan, Kunihiko Sakurai (Akihito Sugisawa) 15:34
4. Canada, Steve Junker (Jason Young, Dean Evason) 19:49 PP
Penalties -- Tatsuki Katayama Japan (holding) 7:36; Evan Marble Canada (interference) 10:48; Toshiyuki Sakai Japan (slashing) 19:02; Koji Masukawa Japan (slashing) 19:33.
5. Canada, Jason Young (Dean Evason, Steve Junker) 17:03.
Xavier Majic Canada (slashing) 9:30.
6. Canada, Jeff Tory (Dean Evason, Ryan Duthie) 7:54 PP
Jeff Tory Canada (roughing),
Tsutsumi Otomo Japan (high-sticking) 3:39;
Kunihiko Sakurai Japan (cross-checking) 6:50;
Dean Evason Canada, Iwata Japan (high-sticking) 10:25;
Kayle Short Canada (holding) 11:01;
Sean Selmser Canada (slashing) 14:12;
Evan Marble Canada (hooking) 16:16;
Brett Clark Canada (high-sticking) 18:15;
Yuji Iga Japan (slashing) 19:29.
Shots on goal by:
Japan 7-10-9 -- 26
Canada 17-15-10 -- 42
Goaltenders (shots / saves) :
Japan: Shinichi Iwasaki (42 / 37)
Canada: Jordan Willis (26 / 25)