BOISBRIAND, Quebec – Team Russia’s two biggest stars took advantage of a pair of turnovers by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after one period of Game 1 of the Subway Super Series.
The Quebec Remparts’ Mikhail Grigorenko, a Buffalo Sabres prospect taken 12th at the 2012 NHL Draft, beat Blainville-Boisbriand Armada goaltender Etienne Marcoux at 9:49 of the first period off a 2-on-1 break created by a turnover by Halifax Mooseheads star Nathan MacKinnon.
Just over a minute later, Edmonton Oilers prospect Nail Yakupov – the top pick in the 2012 draft – picked off an errant clearing attempt in the QMJHL zone and his low slap shot from the high slot beat Marcoux to the far side just inside the post at 11:03 of the period.
The QMJHL team controlled the play early but were unable to beat goaltender Andrey Vasilevskiy, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect taken 19th in the 2012 draft. The big line of MacKinnon, Jonathan Huberdeau and Jean-Sebastien Dea nearly cut the QMJHL deficit in half in the dying seconds of the first period, but Dea was absolutely robbed by a Vasilevski glove save with just under three seconds remaining.