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Russia hands Team North America loss at World Cup

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Johnny Gaudreau nearly scored the equalizer in the last minute of regulation but Russia held on to defeat Team North America 4-3 at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, ON on Monday.

After battling back from a 4-1 deficit to pull within a goal, Team North America piled on the pressure in the late stages of the game. With less than a minute left, the under-23 squad was all over Russian goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Gaudreau had the best chance to tie the game.

Getting a stick on the puck at the side of the net, Gaudreau's shot just missed the net and his teammates weren't able to corral it before Bobrovsky got himself back in position.

The loss gives Team North America a 1-0-1 record at the World Cup. Their next game takes place on Wednesday when they take on Mikael Backlund and Sweden at 1:00 PM MT (Sportsnet, ESPN, TVA Sports).

Team North America jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the first period when Auston Matthews tapped in a pass from Connor McDavid at 5:14.

Russia, however, responded with four straight goals.

Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Vladimir Tarasenko beat goaltender Matt Murray in the second period, which resulted in Team North America making a goalie change and putting John Gibson in net.

Before the middle frame came to a close, Morgan Rielly scored for Team North America to give his momentum heading into the final period.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins netted a power play goal early in the third stanza but Bobrovsky kept his team ahead by making 18 saves on the 19 shots he faced in the final period.

Gaudreau finished the game with one assist, one shot, one hit, and one takeaway in 15:08 of ice time. He now has two points in the first two games at the tournament.

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