Team Russia was outplayed by Team USA on Tuesday in Kingston, Ontario, falling 5-1 in their second and final warm-up game before the 2009 World Junior Championship gets underway on Thursday. Ranger prospect Evgeny Grachev picked up the primary assist on the Russian’s only goal.
The American squad got off to a fast and furious start in the game, firing 15 shots in the first period and 20 through the start of the second before the Russians registered their first. Only the strong play of Danil Alistratov prevented the game from becoming a blowout early. But the young goalie, who’s played in 30 games for Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL this season, saw his luck run out in the second as Team USA’s Aaron Palushaj put two quick goals past him at 4:32 and 4:45. Alistratov gave one more up to James van Riemsdyk late in the second before being replaced in net by Vadim Zhelobnyuk for the third.
Team Russia scored its only goal of the game on the power play at 8:53 of the third period when Grachev fed Pavel Chernov with a “good pass” to make it 4-1. Colin Wilson topped off the scoring at 17:12 of the period to give the Americans their second victory in two exhibition games.
In addition to his assist Grachev also picked up a high sticking minor at 16:00 of the second.
Team Russia opens the tournament against Lavtia on Thursday. Team USA plays its first match of the tournament on Friday against Germany at 3:30pm. The game will be broadcast live on the NHL Network.
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