The Czech Republic is off to a strong start at the World Junior Hockey Championship.
Saint John Sea Dogs forward Ostap Safin recorded a goal and an assist in the Czech Republic's tournament opening 5-4 upset win over Russia on Tuesday afternoon at Buffalo's Key Bank Center.
The Edmonton Oilers prospect also had two shots and was a +1 in the 14:13 of ice time he saw in the win.
Safin's Sea Dogs teammate, defenceman Radim Salda, was held pointless on the day in 16:35 of ice time. He recorded one shot and was a -1.
The Czechs were up 5-2 in the third at one point and managed to hang on despite a late press by the Russians. It's a big win for the squad as it opens up a real possibility of finishing second (or even first, perhaps) in their group.
The Czech Republic will face Sweden on Thursday at 5 p.m.
In other action on Tuesday, Sweden beat Belarus 6-1, Canada downed Finland 4-2 and the US won a close 9-0 game against Denmark.