QUICK STRIKES LEAD CANADA TO WIN IN KARJALA OPENER
JASON LA ROSE
BIEL, Switzerland – Eric O’Dell (Ottawa, Ont./HC Sochi, KHL) and Matt Ellison (Duncan, B.C./Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL) scored 64 seconds apart late in the second period, helping Canada’s National Men’s Team to a 3-2 win over Switzerland to start their 2017 Karjala Cup schedule Wednesday.
Gilbert Brulé (Edmonton, Alta./Kunlun Red Star, KHL) had the other goal for the Canadians, who did all their damage in the middle frame.
After a scoreless and penalty-free first period, the action picked up in the second.
Michael Fora got the Swiss on the board just shy of the six-minute mark, bouncing a point shot through Canadian goaltender Ben Scrivens (Spruce Grove, Alta./Salavat Yulaev Ufa, KHL), but Brulé knocked the rebound of a Simon Després (Laval, Que./HC Slovan Bratislava, KHL) shot past Jonas Hiller to tie the game less than three minutes later.
O’Dell put the Canadians up for good at 15:43 of the second, getting his stick on a shot from Karl Stollery (Camrose, Alta./Dinamo Riga, KHL), and Ellison jumped all over a rebound in the slot to hammer home the 3-1 goal shortly after.
Both goaltenders made did-you-see-that saves in the period; Scrivens was first, diving across the crease to take a goal away from Cody Almond, only to be topped by Hiller and his desperation glove stop off Linden Vey (Wakaw, Sask./Barys Astana, KHL) late in the stanza.
The Swiss put Hiller on the bench in the dying minutes and Romain Loeffel got the hosts within a goal with a seeing-eye point shot with 1:58 to go, but that would be as close as they got.
Canada will head to Helsinki, Finland, for its remaining games at the Karjala Cup, beginning with a match-up against Sweden on Friday (11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT).