Logan Stankoven (Kamloops, B.C./Kamloops, WHL) scored twice as part of three-goal surge early in the second period, and Dovar Tinling (Pointe-Claire, Que./Hawkesbury, CCHL) netted the game-winning goal in the third as Canada Red edged Russia 4-3 on Saturday night in the Group B curtain-raiser at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Conner Roulette (Winnipeg, Man./Seattle, WHL) had the other goal for Red, which ended a two-game losing streak against the Russians and won its tournament opener for the first time since 2015.
The goaltenders stile the show in a scoreless first period, with Thomas Milic (Coquitlam, B.C./Burnaby Winter Club, CSSHL) and Pavel Kanaev combining for 26 saves in the opening 20 minutes – Red held a 15-11 advantage in shots.
But the floodgates opened wide early in the second period; Stankoven broke through just three minutes into the middle frame, banking a shot off Kanaev from behind the net, and he redirected in a pass from Wyatt Johnston (Toronto, Ont./Windsor, OHL) for a power-play marker 2:19 after that for a 2-0 lead.
Roulette made it a three-goal game just shy of the six-minute mark, burying a rebound and chasing Kanaev. The Russian netminder allowed three goals on 20 shots – and three on five in the second period – before giving way to Valerii Brinkman.
The change seemed to spark the Russians, who cut the deficit to one before the end of the stanza.
Matvei Nadvorniy got the European side on the board only 78 seconds after the Roulette goal, going end-to-end and beating Milic with an unassisted effort, and Aleksei Prokopenko jumped on a loose puck between the hashmarks and made it 3-2.
The Canadians controlled the puck for long stretches of the third period, outshooting Russia 17-8, and Tinling provided the eventual game-winner at 6:12 when he followed the bouncing puck and knocked a shot past Brinkman.
Daniil Lazutin got Russia back within one when his centering pass hit a Canadian skate and eluded Milic with 9:36 to go, but that would be as close as it got.
Red finished with a 43-31 advantage in shots on goal.
The Canadians are back on the ice at the Innovation Credit Union iPlex on Monday night when they face Sweden (7 p.m. MT), while the Russians will take on Finland in the first game of the day (3 p.m. MT) in a rematch of the 2018 gold medal game.