SVECHNIKOV LEADS RUSSIA PAST CANADA WHITE
JASON LA ROSE
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Andrey Svechnikov scored twice and added two assists to pace the offence, and Russia held off a late comeback attempt to beat Canada White 5-3 in pre-tournament play Thursday ahead of the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Canadians got within a goal twice in the third period, but couldn’t find the game-tying marker.
Newly-minted captain Jett Woo (Winnipeg, Man./Moose Jaw, WHL) had a goal and an assist to spearhead the Canadian comeback effort in the final 10 minutes, and Carson Focht (Regina, Sask./Tri-City, WHL) added two helpers.
Canada White jumped out to the early lead when Koby Morrisseau (Grandview, Man./Spokane, WHL) danced around a Russian defender and roofed a backhand over goaltender Daniil Isaev just 4:57 in, but Grigorii Nesvetaev buried a long rebound past Canadian netminder Olivier Rodrigue (Chicoutimi, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL) just 71 seconds later to tie the game.
Grigorii Denisenko put the Russians ahead at 10:48, taking a feed from behind the net from Svechnikov and snapping a quick shot to the far side on Rodrigue for a 2-1 advantage after 20 minutes.
Svechnikov had the lone goal of the second period, taking a stretch pass from Aleksandr Khovanov and beating Rodrigue to push the Russian advantage to 3-1 through two.
The Canadians carried a man advantage into the third period, and Woo cut the deficit to 3-2 with a goal just seconds after the man advantage had ended, getting a point shot through traffic and past Isaev.
Khovanov restored the two-goal lead at 13:41, blasting a one-timer past Marshall Frappier (Nepean, Ont./Nepean, CCHL) – who replaced Rodrigue midway through the second period – but Woo set up Samuel Houde (Blainville, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) for a power-play marker less than two minutes later to make it 4-3.
A slashing call against Tristen Nielsen (Fort St. John, B.C./Calgary, WHL) just eight seconds after the Houde goal proved to be the final nail in the Canadian coffin, as Svechnikov wired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Frappier on the man advantage to cap the scoring.
Canada White sees the ice next in its tournament opener Sunday afternoon against Canada Black (4 p.m. ET), while the Russians will take on Sweden in their curtain-raiser (6 p.m. ET).