CANADA EDGES RUSSIAN SIDE IN SPENGLER CUP OPENER
JASON LA ROSE
DAVOS, Switzerland – Cory Conacher (Burlington, Ont./SC Bern, SUI) scored the winner late in the second period, helping Canada’s National Men’s Team to a 2-1 win over Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in its opening game Saturday at the 2015 Spengler Cup.
Trevor Carrick (Stouffville, Ont./Charlotte, AHL) had the other goal for Canada, which earned itself a day off with the win; it’ll be on the ice next on Monday (2:15 p.m. ET/11:15 a.m. PT), taking on host team HC Davos.
The Canadians controlled much of the offence in the first period, outshooting Yekaterinburg 13-5, but it took a buzzer-beater for Carrick to start the scoring; his shot hit a defenceman in front and eluded goaltender Igor Ustinsky with less than a second to go in the opening frame.
Yekaterinburg pulled even nine minutes into the second when Alexander Torchenyuk outmuscled a Canadian defender on a shorthanded break and slipped a shot past netminder Drew MacIntyre (Charlottetown, P.E.I./Charlotte, AHL).
But Conacher restored the Canadian lead for good less than five minutes after that, taking a perfect saucer feed from Derek Roy (Rockland, Ont./SC Bern, SUI) and going to the backhand to beat Ustinsky.
Canada had plenty of chances to extend its lead in the third period, including back-to-back five-on-three opportunities early in the final stanza, but couldn’t put another puck past Ustinsky.
The Canadians struggled with the man advantage, going goalless on seven chances and giving up a shorthanded goal, but their penalty kill was perfect, negating both Yekaterinburg opportunities.
Canada finished with a 27-23 advantage in shots on goal.