CALGARY, AB -- Mickey Elick of Calgary and Nic Beaudoin of Ottawa staked Canada's National Men's Hockey Team to a 2-0 lead midway through the second period and goaltender Dominic Roussel stopped 26 of 27 shots as Team Canada defeated the Japanese Olympic Team 4-1 Tuesday night.
The game was the first game of a three-game series between the teams, who will also face-off against each other on Friday night in Olds, AB and again on Saturday night in Drumheller. It was the only game the Calgary-based National Team will play this season at Father David Bauer Arena, its home arena, and was played before about 650 fans.
Elick gave Canada a 1-0 lead at 9:22 of the opening period, converting a nifty setup from Craig Herperger of Stockholm, SK to beat Japanese goaltender Dusty Imoo. Beaudoin made it 2-0, completing a three-way play with linemates Gaetan Poirier of Moncton, NB and Gaetan Royer of Donnacona, QC.
The 2-0 lead stood until 19:10 of the third period, when Jason MacDonald of Charlottetown, PEI chipped a pass from Herperger into an empty net after Japanese head coach Bjorn Kinding had pulled Imoo for a sixth attacker.
Matthew Kabayama scored the lone goal for Japan at 19:28 on a setup from former Ottawa 67's winger Ryan Kuwabara, one of several Canadian-born players on the Japanese team, which will be the host club at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan in February.
Team Canada captain Sean Selmser of Calgary completed the scoring with a second empty-net goal at 19:49.