CANADA COMES BACK TO OPEN CHANNEL ONE WITH WIN
JASON LA ROSE
MOSCOW, Russia - Marc-André Gragnani (L'Île-Bizard, Que./HC Dinamo Minsk, KHL) and Wojtek Wolski (Toronto, Ont./Kunlun Red Star, KHL) scored 1:42 midway through the second period to turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead and help Canada's National Men's Team to a 4-2 win over South Korea in its first game Wednesday at the 2017 Channel One Cup.
Canada held a decided 57-10 advantage in shots on goal, but found itself in a tight game into the final minute thanks to the play of Canadian-born goaltender Matthew Dalton, who made 53 saves for the Koreans.
Matt Frattin (Edmonton, Alta./Barys Astana, KHL) needed less than three minutes to open the scoring, jumping on a turnover deep in the Korean zone and beating Dalton to the near post with a backhand to put the Canadians up 1-0.
Sang Wook Kim answered for the Olympic hosts at 5:01, jamming a rebound past goaltender Ben Scrivens (Spruce Grove, Alta./Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL), and redirected in a shot from Michael Testwuide at 17:44 to send Korea to the dressing room with a surprising 2-1 lead.
Gragnani capitalized on a power play to draw Canada even just past the midway mark of the second period, getting a point shot through traffic and past Dalton, and Wolski took a short feed from captain Derek Roy (Rockland, Ont./Linköping HC, SHL) and went post and in to put the red-and-white ahead for good.
The Canadians held Korea to just three shots in the third period, but couldn't get another puck past Dalton.
Quinton Howden (Oakbank, Man./HC Dinamo Minsk, KHL) finished the scoring into an empty net with 32.5 seconds left to provide the final margin of victory.
Canada returns to the ice at VTB Arena on Friday (11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT) when it takes on the Czech Republic in the second of three round-robin games. It closes out its schedule Saturday (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT) against the host Russians.