SPECIAL TEAMS LEAD RUSSIA TO OPENING DAY WIN OVER EAST
JASON LA ROSE
TRURO, N.S. – Alexander Romanov and Ivan Morozov scored two goals each, and Russia rode its special teams to a 5-1 win over Canada East in the opening game for both Sunday night at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge.
The Russians scored twice on the power play, once shorthanded and once at 6-on-5 on a delayed penalty, beating the easterners for the sixth time in nine all-time meetings.
Grigory Denisenko added a goal and two assists for Russia, while Amir Miftakhof stopped 27 of 28 shots.
Romanov scored first at the 16-minute mark, hammering a point shot through traffic and past Canadian goaltender Jett Alexander with Miftakhof on the bench for an extra attacker.
Denisenko converted on the first Russian power play in the dying seconds of the opening frame, racing down the right wing and roofing a shot short-side on Alexander.
Romanov added his second goal on another man advantage just 2:29 into the second period on a gorgeous tic-tac-toe passing play with Denisenko and Vladislav Kotkov, and Morozov got his first off a turnover deep in the Canadian zone at 12:05.
Nick Campoli finally got East in the board late in the second when his shot hit a stick and beat Miftakhof up and over the shoulder. It was the first goal in almost 100 minutes for the Canadians, including their shutout loss to the United States in pre-tournament play.
Canada East had its chances in the third period, including a five-minute power play after Denisenko was ejected for a hit to the head, but couldn’t find another goal.
Alexander went to the bench with three minutes left for a 6-on-4 advantage, but Morozov found the empty net for a shorthanded marker at 18:18 of the final stanza to wrap up the scoring.
Russia will enjoy an off day before wrapping up its preliminary-round schedule against Switzerland on Tuesday afternoon (3:30 p.m. AT), while Canada East will face off against the Swiss on Monday night (7:30 p.m. AT).