FROG LAKE, Alta. – Ilya Nikolaev broke open a 2-2 tie with 8:10 remaining and Aleksandr Gordin added a pair of late insurance goals, helping Russia pull away for a 5-2 pre-World Junior A Challenge win over Canada West on Friday night.
Vasily Podkolzin had the other two goals and Maksim Groshev chipped in with two assists for the Russians, who held West to just nine shots over the final 40 minutes and held a 27-17 advantage overall.
Mathieu Gosselin (Quebec City, Que./Merritt, BCHL) and Alexander Campbell (Châteauguay, Que./Victoria, BCHL) scored for the Canadians, who open their tournament Sunday against the United States (7 p.m. MT) in a rematch of the 2017 gold medal game. Russia will face the other Canadian entry, Canada East, in its curtain-raiser Sunday (2 p.m. MT).