TOKYO, Japan -- Sean Selmser scored twice for Canada's National Team as it built a 5-0 lead en route to a 5-2 victory over the Japanese National Team on Thursday in the first of a six-game series against the Nagano Olympic-bound Japanese.
Selmser opened the scoring at 4:33 of the first period during a Canadian power play, and scored the fifth Canadian goal at 7:16 of the second period.
Canada dominated during that stretch, with Mike Stewart and Xavier Majic both scoring first-period goals and Steve Junker padding Canada's lead to 4-0 with a goal at 1:06 of the second. Dean Evason, Canada's leading scorer this season, added a pair of assists, giving him 55 points this season on 22 goals and 33 assists in 44 games.
Takeshi Yamanaka's power-play goal at 16:17 of the second period put the Japanese on the scoreboard and Tsutsumi Otomo completed the scoring at 13:21 of the third period.
'After establishing a solid 5-0 lead, our team play deteriorated in the last 30 minutes,' said Team Canada head coach Andy Murray. 'The Japanese played hard and you can see the intensity they have developed under (former Canadian National and Olympic Team head coach) Dave King.'
The King-led Japanese team played a six-game series against the National team in Alberta and B.C. in January, losing all six games, but gaining valuable experience as they prepare to be the host club at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. King, the former head coach of the Calgary Flames, has been working with the Japanese Ice Hockey Federation as a consultant, and with the Japanese National team as the club's general manager.
Tomorrow (Friday), Team Canada and the Japanese National Team play the second game in the six-game series in Nikko.