MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. Team Canada edged their long-time rivals Russia 3-2 scoring the winning goal in overtime in a match played in the United States as part of the scheduled three pre-tournament exhibition games ahead of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Wednesday night’s game of the Canadian team against the ‘Red Machine,’ led by Head Coach Oleg Znarok, was held at the 19,700-seat CONSOL Energy Center, which is the home stadium for NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
Reigning World and Olympic Champions Canada opened the score in the ninth minute of the opening period after forward Patrice Bergeron assisted by Sidney Crosby shot the puck into the corner of the goal past Russia’s goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
The following 20-minutes after the first intermission offered chances for both teams to score on power-plays, but the mid-period remained scoreless. Canada, however, was more active in the offensive during that period cannoning pucks against the Russian goal, but Bobrovsky was solid after allowing a goal in the opening 20-minuter.
One of the referees retreated from the ice in the second period after he was accidentally hit in the face with a stick by Canada’s Crosby with less than eight minutes remaining before the second break of the match. The 29-year-old Canadian forward immediately offered apologies to the linesman, who nevertheless had to leave the pitch seeking medical assistance.
The closing period of the exhibition match began with Russia’s dominance on power-plays due to consecutive violations of the Canadian team and it was the captain of the ‘Red Machine’ Alexander Ovechkin to burn the net of the rivals and tie score at 1-1 on the 4th minute of that period.
Ovechkin’s goal inspired the Russian team and less than four minutes later his teammate Artemy Panarin wristed another goal granting his team the 2-1 advantage over Canada.
It would never be the classic team Canada to give up and with some six minutes left on the timetable John Tavares blazed the puck past Russia’s Bobrovsky in the left corner of the goal’s net to tie the score of the match again bringing it to 2-2.
Although both teams made numerous attempts to win the game in the closing minutes of the match, the 2-2 remained unchanged flashing on the scoreboard until the siren invited them for a short break before the overtime period.
It was Canada’s Ryan Getzlaf after a ricochet facing Bobrovsky one-on-one and scoring a goal to seal the final score at 3-2 in the overtime period of the match.