SOCHI, Russia – Maxim Noreau (Montreal, Que./SC Bern, NLA) and Gilbert Brule (Edmonton, Alta./Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, KHL) scored second-period goals to tie the game, but Canada’s National Men’s Team was edged 3-2 by Russia in preliminary-round action Monday at the 2017 Sochi Hockey Open.
The loss leaves the Canadians with two points from two round-robin games, and means it will face KHL side Metalurg Magnitogorsk in the third-place game on Wednesday (12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT).
Stanislav Galiyev put Russia ahead less than five minutes in, knocking a no-look pass from Kirill Kaprizov through the legs of Canadian goaltender Kevin Poulin (Montreal, Que.) and Artyom Fyodorov one-timed a bouncing puck past Poulin just past the midway mark of the period, sending Russia to the dressing room up 2-0.
Noreau was quick to get Canada on the board in the second period, steering a point shot through traffic and past netminder Igor Shestyorkin just beyond the three-minute mark of the middle frame.
The tying goal came off the stick of Brule at 9:53; he finished off a back-door feed from Mason Raymond (Cochrne, Alta./SC Bern, NLA) to make it a 2-2 game.
But the Russians would answer quickly, with Roman Lyubimov getting his stick on a point shot from Mikhail Grigorenko less than five minutes after the Brule goal to put Russia up for good.
The Canadians dominated the second period, outshooting Russia 19-3.
Canada had its chances in the third period, including more than three minutes of continuous pressure in the Russian zone midway through the final stanza, but couldn’t find the game-tying goal.
Brandon Kozun (Calgary, Alta./Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, KHL) finished with a pair of assists for the Canadians.
“I thought it was a good hockey game; both teams played hard. Russia had a good start to their game. But the whole game throughout was a good battle.”
Head coach Willie Desjardins’ overall impression of the game
“The atmosphere was great tonight. Canada-Russia is a great rivalry. A lot of people came out tonight. It was a great experience for us and for the other team.”
Kevin Poulin discusses the game’s atmosphere and loud, capacity crowd