Four of the Boston Bruins prospects who are in chilly Ufa, Russia right now for the 2013 World Junior Championship were on the winning side today as the tournament began.
In Ufa–the emphasis is on the ‘fa,’ not the ‘u’–where the forecast for tomorrow calls for two inches of snow and a high of 14 degrees F, Canada faced Germany and Russia took on Slovakia in two of the first games of the competition.
For Canada fans who set their alarms to silly o’clock so they could get up for the 4:30 a.m. (Eastern) puck drop, their lack of sleep was rewarded in a 9-3 win. Malcolm Subban minded the net and made 25 saves for the victory. Dougie Hamilton and Anthony Camara each put up an assist. Hamilton came away with a +3 rating and Camara a +1.
After a showing like that from Subban, team coach Steve Spott made a decision about who will probably mind the net for much of the tournament to come.
“Our plan is to run with Malcolm,” he said.
So, we will be seeing more of those Belleville black-red-yellow pads in the coming days. Subban has some knowledge of how to mind the net on larger international-size ice–the Belleville Bulls‘ home arena has Olympic-standard size instead of NHL-standard size–which may be of use to him in this tourney.
Later in the morning, host Russia met Slovakia. Alexander Khokhlachev scored one of the two goals that initially had Russia holding on to a 2-1 win at the end of regulation. But some clumsy penalties from the home team gave Slovakia a chance that was too good to pass up and they tied it up right before the buzzer. However, just before the overtime period was set to end, Russia scored and got the 3-2 win. They received two points in the standings, as opposed to three, for an overtime win.
Here is Khokhlachev’s goal, plus a hit on Peter Ceresnak:
Tomorrow, the American team–with Matt Grzelcyk in tow, and probably with all his gear this time–will take on a German team whose pride must be wounded after the game they had today. Germany hasn’t been projected to make much of a splash in this tournament, at least not according to The Hockey News, but anything can happen. That game will be at 9 a.m. Eastern.
NHL Network is showing pretty much every game, not just ones involving Team USA, live and on repeats later in the day. In Canada, TSN is handling those duties.