Team Canada opened up the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships yesterday afternoon at Buffalo’s HSBC Arena. It was a shaky start by the Canadians, but it proved to be nothing more than a bit of adversity as they went on to defeat Russia 6-3.
Subway Super Series monster Maxim Kitsyn opened up the scoring at 3:57 when he tipped a point shot past Olivier Roy to give the Russians an early lead. Marcus Foligno would jam home a rebound at 17:55 to square the game up at 1-1 going into the first intermission.
In the second, Canada got their first lead at 10:35 when captain Ryan Ellis beat London Knights goaltender Igor Bobkov to make it a 2-1 affair. But the Russians kept coming as Nikita Dvurechensky beat Roy through the five-hole to tie the match once again.
Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres’ defense partner, Erik Gudbranson, gave Canada their lead back at 15:15 only to have it erased once again just under two-minutes later by Daniil Sobchenko.
In the third period, Canada would start to take the game over. Goals by Ryan Johansen, Brayden Schenn, and Curtis Hamilton iced the game for the Canucks who improved to 1-0 in tournament play.
Acadie-Bathurst Titan goaltender Olivier Roy made 24 saves for the win. He appeared nervous to start the match but improved as the game moved forward.
Despres was held pointless in the tilt but did play a role in Gudbranson’s second period marker. He finished the game with one shot on goal and a +1 rating.
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Canada has a day off today to prepare for tomorrow’s game against the Czech Republic.
“Team Canada head coach Dave Cameron kept his lines together for today's practice,” tweeted National Post reporter Sean Fitzgerald. “Players have the afternoon for ‘rest and family time.’”
Olivier Roy is expected to start in goal once again.
“It sounds like Mark Visentin will start for Canada in Wednesday's game against Norway, but that Roy is Coach Cameron's No. 1,” tweeted Globe and Mail scribe James Mirtle.
Tomas Jurco and Team Slovakia open up the world junior tournament tonight at 8pm AST at HSBC Arena against Team Germany. The Germans are coming off a close 4-3 loss to the Swiss yesterday afternoon.
From the game preview on the Buffalo World Juniors website:
Slovakia starts this year’s tournament with a strong defensive unit that includes: Martin Marincin and Adam Janosik. Stefan Mikes will coach Slovakia for the fourth straight year.ON JURCO
Last year proved to be a tough tournament for Slovakia as they dropped three out of their four preliminary games, eliminating them from the tournament playoffs. The last time Slovakia won a medal was in 1999 when they defeated Team Sweden to earn a Bronze medal.
Sea Dogs forward Tomas Jurco is drawing some attention by playing in this tournament. Although Hockey’s Future believes the Sea Dogs play in Newfoundland, they had a preview of the Slovaks featuring Jurco.
17-year-old Tomas Jurco of the St. John's Sea Dogs is the youngest player on the team and should attract the attention of scouts. Jurco performed well in the 2010 QMJHL playoffs and has been a point-a-game game player so far in the 2010-11 season.Future Considerations also lists Jurco as a draft eligible player to watch during the tournament.
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