Morgan Rielly scored a third-period goal, but it wasn’t enough as Canada lost 6-3 to Russia in the second game of the Canada-Russia Challenge in Yaroslavl, Russia.
The series is tied 1-1 as the two junior teams head to Halifax to conclude the four-game series on Monday and Tuesday.
“Any time we seemed to get close we seemed to take a penalty,” said Canadian head coach Steve Spott.
“We knew that if we took poor penalties and were soft with our discipline we were going to allow them to stay in the game. Ultimately, for me, that was the difference in the game.”
Russia scored twice on the power play and once short-handed to take a 3-1 lead after two periods.
Canada’s top centre, Mark Scheifele, was ejected in the first period while the game was still scoreless after picking up a game misconduct and a kneeing major again Russia’s Kirill Kapustin.
Russia finished 2-for-7 on the power play.
“The penalties that we took, for me, were ones that were uncharacteristic for us. They were stick penalties they were far away from our goaltenders,” said Spott. “They’re penalties that were unacceptable in an event like this.”
Kapustin, who plays with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, got the last laugh as he scored a hat trick to lead the Russians to victory. It was an emotional night in Yaroslavl as the series is being played in part to honour the victims of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash.
“It was very emotional,” said Spott. “The crowd was in it. I can tell you the fans here in Yaroslavl have been outstanding.”
Canada was trailing 3-1 in the third period when Rielly won the puck back just outside the Russian zone. The Moose Jaw Warrior defenceman gained the zone and fed Lukas Sutter with a pass at the blue line. Rielly then drove to the net and beat Russian defenceman Kirill Diakov to the front of the goal. Sutter made a great pass in front and Rielly was able to redirect the pass past Saskatoon Blades goalie Andrei Makarov to get Canada back to within a goal.
Anton Zlobin opened the scoring when he got behind Harrington and Rielly on the power play 38 seconds into the second period.
About two minutes after Rielly cut into the lead in the third period, Maxim Shalunov extended Russia’s advantage to 4-2.
Kapustin made it 5-2 with his third goal, but Canada’s Ryan Strome replied less than a minute later.
Shalunov scored an empty netter to seal the win.
— with files from The Canadian Press