Canada dominates Germany, Russia nips Slovakia in OT

Day One of the WJC2013 produced a predictable blowout and one unpredictable squeaker. We’ll start with Canada who rolled to a 9-3 win over Germany. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had five points (1-4-5) in his Canadian debut as captain. He and gifted linemates Mark Scheifele and Jonathan Huberdeau combined for four goals and six assists. Scheifele scored his first two goals of the tournament and Huberdeau tallied a goal and two helpers.

Canadian coach Steve Spott also got good news with Jonathan Drouin able to play despite a charley horse. The 2013 Draft prospect posted a goal and assist. There were eight different scorers for Canada including defenseman Xavier Ouellet, who tallied a power play goal. Ty Rattie also scored in support of Malcolm Subban, who allowed three goals. Nugent-Hopkins thought his team was sloppy with Germany capitalizing on Canadian mistakes. Leonhard Pfoderl and Nickolas Latta scored two minutes apart. Tobias Rieder notched their first goal on the power play, cutting it to 3-1 before Canada built their lead.

The competition picks up Friday with Canada facing Slovakia, who rallied from a two-goal deficit before falling in overtime to host Russia. Albert Yarulin’s power play goal at 10 seconds of OT made the Russians winners.

Despite a dominant first period, it didn’t come easy. Former Buffalo first round pick Mikhail Grigorenko set up Nikita Kucherov for a tip in that put them ahead. Any chance to increase the margin was snuffed out by Slovak goalie Adam Nagy. Midway through the second, Alexander Khohklachyov made it two-zip. But the Slovaks were undettered with Matus Matis steering home a rebound on a delayed call.

Penalty trouble caused problems for Russia, who handed Slovakia three straight including Richard Mraz’s equalizer coming with 36.4 seconds left in regulation. He beat Russian netminder Andrei Vasilevski forcing OT. Ultimately, Yarulin rescued the host team for their first win.


About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included two stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil games. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has scored Berkeley Carroll basketball games since 2006 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. From players, coaches to administrators, it's a first class program. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree.
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