Tenacious Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher celebrated his birthday in style by scoring the game-winning-goal in Team Canada’s opening match at the IIHF World Championship in Saint Petersburg, Russia to secure a convincing 5-1 victory over Team USA.
Ryan O’Reilly found Gallagher set up in the left faceoff circle and the birthday boy fired a shot by Team USA netminder Keith Kinkaid (Devils) with a perfect shot.
Netminder Mike Condon will look for his chance in the blue-paint after backing up Kinkaid in Team USA’s 5-1 loss.
Next up for Team Canada is a clash against Team Hungary on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic opened the World Hockey Championship with a 3-0 victory over Russia on Friday night at the Ice Palace in Moscow.
Tomas Kundratek, Roman Cervenka and Michal Birner scored for the Czechs. Dominik Furch made 25 saves to register the shutout.
Both Tomas Plekanec and Alexei Emelin were held off the scoresheet.
Plekanec will be back in action on Saturday against Latvia, while Emelin and the Russians will battle Kazakhstan on Sunday.
Play of the Year: 2015-16