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WHL shuts out Russia in first game of junior series

Flyers prospect Hart makes 20 saves in win; Canucks draft choice Lind has three points

NHL.com @NHL

Kole Lind, a Vancouver Canucks prospect, had two goals and an assist, and the Western Hockey League defeated Russia 7-0 in the first game of the 2017 Canada Russia Series at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on Monday.

Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights), Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames) and Brett Howden (Tampa Bay Lightning) each had a goal and an assist, and Matthew Phillips (Calgary Flames) and Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes) scored. Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) made 20 saves for the WHL.

Vladislav Sukhachyov allowed five goals on 26 shots in the first two periods for Russia. Alexei Melnichuk made five saves on seven shots in the third period. Each goaltender is eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft.

Lind, selected by the Canucks in the second round (No. 33) of the 2017 NHL Draft, started the scoring when he snapped a shot from the left face-off circle past Sukhachyov at 13:31 of the first period.

In the second period, Phillips redirected a shot by Kale Clague (Los Angeles Kings) for a goal at 5:13 to make it 2-0, and then Lind tapped in the rebound of a shot by Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings) at 9:52 to make it 3-0.

Howden tipped a shot by Dennis Cholowski (Red Wings) at 17:43 to make it 4-0, and then 1:41 later Steenbergen banged in a loose puck in front to make it 5-0 at 19:24.

"We had a good start to the game, that's what we carried on throughout the whole game," Lind told the WHL website. "They had little spurts of their chances, but we definitely capitalized when we needed to and [Hart] definitely stood out tonight too."

At 1:23 of the third, Lind set up Glass to put the WHL ahead 6-0, and then Dube's goal at 4:59 made it 7-0.

Game 2 of the series is at Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, on Tuesday. Russia also will play against teams from the Ontario Hockey League (Nov. 9 and 13) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Nov. 14 and 16). 

The games are part of the process of picking the teams for Canada and Russia for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Buffalo.

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